On the night of November 26, 2008, terrorists opened indiscriminate firing in a coordinated shooting and bombing attack in Mumbai. The 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, one of the most horrific and unfortunate events in the history of India, killed hundreds of people while leaving many badly injured. The sound of gunshots and grenades still reverberates in the financial capital and so does the clamor of sobs and strident outbursts of horror as people plead for life.
Over the years, several films, documentaries, and books have drawn inspiration from the grim reality of 26/11 but seldom do we pay attention to the lesser-known facts and challenges faced by NSG commandos during the rescue operation. ‘Mumbai under siege’ tested the mettle of India’s elite counter-terrorism unit, The National Security Guard (NSG) who braved the ‘Black Tornado’ mission as they named it. A ZEE5 Original ‘State of Siege: 26/11’ that premiered today will reveal several untold stories about the attack that shook the whole world.
India’s leading video streaming platform, ZEE5 has finally premiered the most awaited show State of Siege: 26/11 that centers on the true events of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks from the National Security Guards’ (NSG) perspective. The narrative reveals the secrets of a war-like zone that shook the foundation of a dream city. Based on Sandeep Unnithan’s best-selling novel “Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11,” this series is sprawled across eight episodes, each of which brings forth some unsaid accounts of the fateful day.
“It was an intensely personal experience for me. Everyone remembers where they were on the night of 26/11. It is one of those memories that’s seared into your consciousness.” Shares Sandeep.
Here’s a little about the NSG that you must know while we leave the rest till the end of this edge-of-the-seat thriller!
200 NSG commandos reached Mumbai from New Delhi
The NSG commandos arrived from New Delhi to Mumbai and used a naval helicopter for an aerial survey. Watch how they freed the hostages at three different places while they successfully took down all attackers, except one – Ajmal Kasab who was later given a death sentence.
NSG 60 hour-long siege
Yes, it was this long and the NSG conducted this siege without taking a break. The commandos took down 9 out of 10 and rescued over 500 civilians. The unfortunate series of events also witnessed the loss of two Commandos while they fought off the perpetrators resolutely.
State of Siege: 26/11 features an impressive cast comprising Arjan Bajwa, Arjun Bijlani, Vivek Dahiya, Mukul Dev, Sid Makkar among other prominent faces.
Arjan’s character is based on Colonel Sunil Sheoran, the commanding officer of the NSG 51 Special Action Group. Speaking of the criticism that the NSG was subjected to for delaying the operation by six hours, Arjan says, “A lot of people think the NSG was late to arrive in the city, but the NSG works on orders. They were always on their toes to handle any crisis situation. But they couldn’t act without orders.”
Arjun Bijlani in an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com opened up about making his digital debut with the action-packed web series. He also shared his memories of 26/11. “Having lived in town all my life, those places were the ones we have been to every day. It was quite a scary thought that something like this could happen in a city like Mumbai” he says.
Lieutenant Colonel Sundeep Sen (2nd in Command at the NSG during the attacks), was also a consultant on the show. “Lt. Colonel Sundeep Sen taught us everything about the NSG — how they move, communicate or operate weapons. We also got to shoot at classified locations and use military vehicles and logistics.” says Arjan.
In State of Siege, Vivek Dahiya plays Captain Rohit Bagga, a commando leading at the rescue mission at the five-storey building in Colaba. “My character is the youngest of the lot,” Vivek shares. “He’s sent in to rescue the Jewish civilians trapped inside the outreach center. According to one report, Chadad House (The Nariman House) was actually the main target of the terrorists. All the other attacks were conducted to amplify its effect…”
Sid Makkar, who plays the role of a news anchor in the show shares his real-life experience during the attack and recollects “When the actual attack happened, I was at home. I still remember when they caught Kasab, I could hear the gunshot and the tire burst from my building, as they were headed towards Malabar Hill which is very close to my house.”
Here’s a glimpse of State of Siege: 26/11 – The 2008 Mumbai attacks that shook the whole world
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