Slain NSG commando’s father snubs Kerala chief minister (Lead)December 1st, 2008 - 1:55 am ICT by IANS
Bangalore, Dec 1 (IANS) A visibly angry father of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, the National Security Guard (NSG) commando killed while battling terrorists in Mumbai, Sunday night refused to accept condolences from the Kerala chief minister and asked him to leave his home here.After much persuasion, however, K. Unnikrishnan met Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan who was accompanied by state Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
Achuthanandan and Balakrishnan arrived from Kerala in the city Sunday evening to offer condolences to Sandeep’s parents K. Unnikrishnanan and Dhanalakshmi.
However, an agitated Unnikrishnan refused to meet the political laders and shut the door of his home. With television cameras rolling, he shouted at the two political leaders and asked them to leave immediately.
The parents were apparently upset that the Kerala government had not cared about their tragedy till Sunday and they told the Karnataka and Kerala police that they had no intention to meet the two leaders.
Though Sandeep was born and brought up in Bangalore, his family hails from Kerala.
After appeals by senior police officials of the two states, Dhanalakshmi persuaded her husband to allow the leaders to come to their house in Yelahanka, about 12 km from the city centre.
The ministers then met Sandeep’s parents, who expressed their anguish at the insensitivity of the political leaders, a family source said.
The source added that the father told the ministers that they bothered to visit their Bangalore home only because of criticism from the media back home and not because they wanted to share the family’s grief.
Unnikrishnan reportedly agreed to allow the two leaders into his house on the condition that they would not speak to the media about their meeting or their son.
Asked about the meeting, Achutanandan said: “We came to convey our condolences.”
Sandeep, 31, died Friday during the NSG’s Operation Cyclone at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel in Mumbai to flush out the terrorist holed up inside iconic landmark of the western Indian metroplis.
An embarrassed Balakrishan told reporters after he was snubbed: “He is very worried as he as lost his son.”
In Mumbai, Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare’s bereaved family similarly snubbed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi when he announced a Rs.10 million cash relief to the families of policemen killed in the terrorist strike Wednesday.
Modi called on the Karkares in Mumbai Friday, but the family declined to accept any cash or assistance from Modi.