The 2008 Mumbai attacks were a string of terrorist attacks that happened in November 2008, when 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organisation based in Pakistan executed 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks which lasted four days across the city. The deadly attack began on Wednesday 26 November and lasted until Saturday 29 November 2008 and at least 174 people died, including 9 attackers, and more than 300 people were wounded.
Case in point, Gajender Singh Bisht(36), an NSG commando and sergeant was martyred during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. His extraordinary tale of bravery was honoured with the Ashoka Chakra award [India’s highest peacetime military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice] by the President of India on 26 January 2009, Republic Day.
Havaldar Gajendra Singh Bisht died being part of Operation Black Tornado in 2008 and was well and truly recognised as the unsung hero.
Hailing from a small village Ganeshpur in Uttarakhand, he joined Garhwal Rifles In 1991 which was later followed by choosing to be a part of the 10 Para SF (Special Force) before becoming an NSG Commando.
His brother identified as Birendra Singh Bisht, an official in the Uttarakhand Police said, “He had always wanted to be in the forces and had always wanted to die like a hero. And that is precisely what happened.”
Havaldar Gajendra was living in the national capital when he had to leave for this Mumbai Operation. On November 26th, Singh had received an emergency call about an alert and left quickly adding that he would be back in a while.
Operation Black Tornado
Singh was an integral part of the National Security Guard’s 51 Special Action Group and the unit of NSG Commandos who were sent to take on the terrorists inside Nariman House. The terrorists were holding as many as six hostages in the building and the units of commandos were fast-roped on the roof in order to neutralize them.
The team chaired by Gajender Singh sprung into action as he got involved in intense cross firing with the terrorists, according to Jyoti Krishna Dutt, Director General of the NSG. Singh didn’t hesitate to retreat as he decided to continue moving on.
The constant shots of bullets did not prevent him from giving cover to his fellow militants to stead forward but he succumbed to his several injuries. However, it is worth mentioning here that his extraordinary act of bravery did manage to provide an edge to his team during the encounter.