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Akshardham: Injured NSG commando dead

May 19, 2004 11:33 IST
Last Updated: May 19, 2004 12:30 IST

The National Security Guard commando who had been comatose after sustaining bullet injuries in the Akshardham operation in Gujarat in September 2002 died early on Wednesday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.

Surjan Singh Bhandari passed away at 4.25am, his brother Commandant Uttam Singh told PTI in Ahmedabad.

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Bhandari had been suffering from kidney problems and high fever in the last few days, Singh said adding he died in his sleep.

The 26-year-old Bhandari, an NSG commando selected from the army's Garhwal Scouts in 2000, was part of the elite group that was air-dashed to Gujarat on September 24 after two terrorists stormed the Akshardham temple complex in Gandhinagar.

Firing indiscriminately and hurling grenades, the terrorists had killed 39 persons, including devotees and two security persons.

The NSG commando team managed to gun down the terrorists in the wee hours on September 25 but lost one of their own men while Surjan was injured in the cross-fire.

He was immediately rushed to the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad where he slipped into a coma and was put on a ventilator in a special ward with round-the-clock surveillance.

School children and other well-wishers often visited him to wish him speedy recovery.

He was shifted to a special ward in the AIIMS at the request of his brothers in October 2003.

The deceased commando's two brothers are also in the defence services.

Arrangements were being made to fly the body to Bhandari's native village in Uttaranchal.

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