Operation Black Tornado: How NSG Rescued Mumbai?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 11th, 2023

On the night of November 26th, 2008, ten Kalashnikov-wielding terrorists attacked Mumbai. They stuck simultaneously at five locations, shooting dead 140 Indians and 25 foreign tourists. On 26th November 2008, several people lost their loved ones forever. People’s eyes become moist by remembering their loved ones. At the Taj Mahal Hotel, Leopold Cafe, Oberoi Hotel, VT station, etc., 170 people were killed in the firing of terrorists, and around 300 people were injured. On 29th November, India’s NSG (National Security Guards) conducted the Operation Black Tornado in order to flush out the remaining attackers; it resulted in the death of the few remaining attackers at the Taj Hotel & ended the attacks.

Operation Black Tornado:  How NSG Rescued Mumbai?

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Major Location of the attacks:

The initial events were detailed around 20:00 Indian Standard Time (IST) on 26th November, when ten men in inflatable speedboats came ashore at two locations in Colaba. They reportedly told the local Marathi-speaking fishermen who asked them who they were to ‘mind their own business’ before they got split up and headed in two different ways. The fishermen’s subsequent report to the police department received little response, and the local police were helpless.

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
  • Leopold Cafe
  • Bomb blasts in the taxis
  • Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and Oberoi Trident
  • Nariman House


Some heroes of 2008 Mumbai attack:

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan: He was a member of the elite Special Forces, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, made the supreme sacrifice, defending fellow NSG commandos of 51 Special Action Groups and guests and combating terrorists inside the Taj Hotel. He was killed while fighting a terrorist armed with grenades and an AK-47 after being charged alone in a corridor. The ‘Black Cat’ managed to arrest a terrorist and take all the jihadists down to the restaurant, from which no one escaped the security forces’ closure. Major Unnikrishnan was posthumously awarded the Ashoka Chakra.

Operation Black Tornado:  How NSG Rescued Mumbai?

Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar: Hemant Karkare, head of the Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad, was at his home in Dadar on 26th November at 9.45 pm to call about the terror attack. He immediately left for the CST station with his driver and bodyguard. There he came to know that the terrorists were now near Cama Hospital. Along with the police officers Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar, Karkare believed the two terrorists to be hiding behind the red car. Eventually, he saw one of the terrorists and managed to injure the only terrorist, Ajmal Kasab, who was caught alive. Still, in exchange for the fire with another terrorist in a narrow lane close to the crime branch office, all three police officers were killed.

Operation Black Tornado:  How NSG Rescued Mumbai?

Tukaram Omble: The Mumbai Police, an army ex-soldier, Tukaram Omblay, and his fellow policemen were involved in a shootout in the hijacked car along with the two terrorists, one of whom was killed. In the act of incredible courage, Omble grabs the barrel of Kasab’s gun and takes dozens of the bullets at point-blank range. Gave time to other police to defeat Kasab. For his supreme sacrifice, Omble was awarded the Ashoka Chakra, the country’s highest peacetime gallantry award.

Karambir Singh Kang: Not all the heroes wear in uniforms. Karambir Singh Kang was the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel’s general manager in the year 2008 when the terrorist attack took place. He helped hundreds of guests and the staff to escape when the world around them fell drastically, keeping them calm. Although Kang himself survived the attack, his wife and his two children didn’t make it and were killed in the fire going through the 6th floor.

Operation Black Tornado:  How NSG Rescued Mumbai?

The aftermath of the attack:

  1. February 25, 2009: Kasab, the lone surviving gunman, is formally charged.
  2. October 3, 2009: United States citizen David Coleman Headley (aka Daood Gilani) is arrested in the Chicago. He was accused of scouting out locations to target in the Mumbai attack.
  3. October 18, 2009: Canadian citizen Tahawwur Hussain Rana is arrested in Chicago. He is accused of facilitating the 26/11 attacks by helping Headley obtain a fake visa to travel to Pakistan.
  4. November 25, 2009: Seven men are charged in Pakistan in connection with the attacks, including the alleged mastermind, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.
  5. March 18, 2010: Headley pleads guilty.
  6. May 3, 2010: Kasab is convicted of murder, conspiracy and waging war on India.
  7. May 6, 2010: Kasab is sentenced to death by hanging.
  8. June 9, 2011: Rana is found not guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to the Mumbai attackers.
  9. November 21, 2012: Kasab is executed at 7:30 A.M. in an Indian prison.
  10. January 24, 2013: Headley is sentenced to 35 years in the prison.
  11. March 13, 2015: The Islamabad High Court in Pakistan orders the release of Lakhvi, calling his detention illegal.
  12. April 10, 2015: Lakhvi is released on the bail.
  13. January 29, 2017: Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the leader of a group associated with the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, is placed under house arrest in Pakistan for his suspected role in the Mumbai attacks.
  14. November 24, 2017: Lahore High Court frees Saeed from house arrest citing a lack of evidence. The United States, which labels Saeed as the leader of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, said it was ‘deeply concerned’ about his release.
  15. July 17, 2019: Saeed is arrested by Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Department on the terror financing charges unrelated to the Mumbai attacks.
  16. February 12, 2020: Saeed is convicted of terror financing charges and sentenced to two prison terms of five & half years, to run concurrently.


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