State of Siege: Here’s all you need to know about the Akshardham Temple Attack

After the first season told the story of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, the next installment is going back to the 2002 Akshardham temple attack.

Kenneth Carneiro

October 6, 2020


Original Series

3 min


The first season of State Of Siege on ZEE5 got a positive response from critics and audiences. This series showed an honest and realistic portrayal of the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. It highlighted the heroic rescue act by the NSG Commandos to eliminate all the terrorists. Arjun Bijlani, Arjan Bajwa and Vivek Dahiya played the role of NSG Commandos and underwent training to convincingly play their roles. ZEE5 recently announced a new special film based on the NSG operation during the Akshardham Temple attack in Gandhinagar.

Watch the first episode of season 1 for free here.

The Akshardham Temple Attack happened on 24 September 2002 and the siege continued till 25 September. In this attack, two gunmen entered the temple premises, killing 30 people and injuring another 80. The death toll included 27 pilgrims as well as two state commandos – Shri Arjun Singh Gameti and Shri Allah Rakha Unadjam as well as one NSG Commando – Subedar Suresh Chandra Yadav.

The terrorists bypassed the security checks by jumping over the temple fence and ran through the courtyard firing indiscriminately at devotees and pilgrims. Their aim was to attack the shrine or the main temple, however, their attempts were foiled. They instead took control of the Exhibition rooms. 35 NSG (formerly Black Cat) Commandos arrived with a bus load of ammunition and were able to successfully seek out and kill the terrorists.

The Akshardham attacks were revealed to be a response to the Gujarat Riots which were again a response to the Godhra train massacre. The NSG found letters from the gunmen which said ‘they could not tolerate what happened to children, women and Muslims during the Gujarat riots.” The letters were translated for the NSG by Maulana Dawood Kausar Ashrafi of the Jama Masjid in Gandhinagar and it helped the NSG find out about the existence of a new terrorist organisation Tehreek-e-Kasas.

Like the 26/11 mission was named Operation Tornado, the Akshardham mission was called ‘Operation Thunderbolt’ or ‘Operation Vajra Shakti’. This mission became a calling card for the NSG and their ability to tackle terrorist threats and hostage situations before their heroics in 2008.

Watch the film Uri: The Surgical Strike, based on the surgical strike conducted by the Indian army on suspected Pakistani militants in retaliation to the 2016 Uri attack.

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