Slain commando's father cycles to salute 26/11 martyrs

"I wanted to pay tribute to my son and other martyrs on the second anniversary of 26/11," he said after reaching here Friday evening.

Unnikrishnan began his journey from the India Gate monument in New Delhi Oct 26 covering a distance of around 1,300 km in 24 days.

"The purpose of the tour is not to remind people of the gruesome attacks on Mumbai but the sacrifices made by our soldiers," said Unnikishnan, 62.Major Unnikrishnan was shot dead by one of the Pakistani terrorists at the Taj hotel here in November 2008.
The father said that cycling had always been close to his heart.

"I always had a passion for long-distance cycling. I thought of paying tribute to the martyrs through this gesture," Unnikrishnan told IANS.

Unnikrishnan's wife was apprehensive when he told her about the plan. "My wife was scared for me. She thought it will be strenuous at this age. But I talked her into coming with me. Now she is with me though following me in a car," he said.

Unnikrishnan, who plans to stay in Pune for three days, will address students at Apex Careers, an academy that guides and trains people aspiring for a defence career. The academy was set up by Lt. Colonel (retd) Pradeep Brahmankar.

He will also visit his son's cabin and Huts of Remembrance at the National Defence Academy and interact with the commandant and senior officials.

Unnikrishnan will leave for Mumbai Nov 21 and reach the Gateway of India, across the Taj hotel, Nov 26. The Mumbai terror attack, which lasted three days, began Nov 26, 2008.
As a special tribute, Unnikrishnan and his wife will stay at the Taj Nov 26-27 before returning to Bangalore Nov 28.

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