New Delhi: The liberation of the Taj Mahal hotel and Oberoi hotel on November 26, 2008 came at a price - not only to the hundreds of civilians and the police, but also to the National Security Guard (NSG).
Brave NSG commandos were among those risking their lives to flush out terrorists from the Taj, the Oberoi and Nariman House. CNN-IBN met the team that got rid of the last terrorist at the Taj Hotel.
Hawaldar Azad Singh and Captain Ryan Chakravarty have lived to tell the tale of 26/11. It was their bullets that cornered that last terrorist holed up in the first floor of the hotel.
"Suddenly there was a blast of AK-47 fire on top of me. We moved back, thankfully it didn't hit us. We chucked two grenades and kept on pinning him down with fire," recalled Captain Rayan Chakravarty.
"Hum log uspe fire karte rahe aur grenade phenkte rahey. Woh ek khirki mein se gir gaya aur maine apni jaan ki parwa na kartey hue, uspe fire kiya aur usko maar giraya (We kept firing at them and throwing grenades. He fell fo a window and I, without caring for my life kept firing at him and killed him)," said Hawaldar Azad Singh.
"Your aim should be very clear, go eliminate your enemies and come back with your team intact," said Capt Chakravarty.
However, some did not survive. No consolation was enough for the mother of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan - an NSG commando who lost his life while trying to save another officer. His friends remembered him as a passionate man and a true patriot.
"After the Xth standard, he was aiming at the NDA, that was his ultimate aim. He was passionate about it," said Major Unnikrishnan's school friend, Sujit Chandrashekhar.
"He was in 7 Bihar regiment, he was in Jammu and Kashmir and served in sub-zero tempetatures, he had trained in all kinds of anti-terror activities," said Major Unnikrishnan's colleague, Major Dipu.
Hawaldar Gajender Singh, an NGS commander was another son of the soil who lost his life. Wrapped in the tricolour, Gajender Singh's coffin was then taken to his home town in Dehradoon where his family bid him a final farewell.
Those who survived hope a similar crisis never arises, but even if it does they are forever ready to lay down their lives for their country.
"We have the power, we have the capability to sort them out if they come back again. If they are shameless and keep on returning, we will go on killing them again and again," said Capt Chakravarty.