Vivek Dahiya: We Shot On Real IL-76 Plane Used During 2008 Attacks In State Of Siege:26/11

Vivek, who’ll be seen as an NSG commando in State Of Siege: 26/11, talks about his role at the ZEE5 January 2020 Calendar launch event.

Aayushi Sharma

December 27, 2019


5 min


Television star Vivek Dahiya, is all set to make his digital debut in the upcoming ZEE5 Original State of Siege: 26/11. Having been a part of several leading telly serials, Vivek is now gearing up to make a mark in the digital world  world. He plays an NSG commando in the web series, based on Sandip Unnithan’s book Black Tornado: The Three Sieges of Mumbai 26/11. The action-packed thriller is a retelling of the infamous 2008 Mumbai terror attacks from the NSG’s perspective. At the January 2020 calendar launch event, Vivek, in an exclusive conversation, revealed to us why he chose to be a part of the digital drama. He also touched upon an interesting trivia about the real NSG commando that his character is based on.

1. What were your reasons for doing State of Siege: 26/11? We are sure you must have had offers before.

I always wanted to play an army official of some sort. Secondly, I was over the moon when I was given the opportunity  to do State of Siege: 26/11 because it is based on a real incident, theMumbai terror attacks . I was offered a couple of web series earlier but State of Siege: 26/11 is based on a one-of-a-kind event, it was a great deal, unfortunate, but it is what it is. Playing an NSG commando, I would give up anything to do that. It is every actor’s dream role, and I fee that  putting on a uniform, getting the body language and everything right fulfils the role completely. It gives me goosebumps to think about everything the NSG went through, what did they go through, why they were late, etc.

Vivek Dahiya from State of Seige_ 26_11
Vivek Dahiya as Captain Rohit Bagga in State of Seige: 26/11.

It is mention worthy that the show is being directed by a Hollywood director. The reason for its  importance is that the series adopts a completely neutral approach. There was no bias with regards to the interpretation of the book.

2. Vivek, tell us about your character in the series. Is he based on a real-life commando who was a part of the rescue team?

I essay the role of  Captain Rohit Bagga, an NSG commando in State of Siege: 26/11. My character is based on Mohit Dhingra. He was heading the operation at Jawahar House during the attacks. He was on leave when the attacks took place, but u came back and volunteered to be a part of operation Black Tornado. He wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place though, and I really salute his presence of mind and his patriotic zeal.  I’ve met him in person and am truly inspired.  

3. We heard the plane that we see in the teaser was the one that was used during the 2008 attacks. Is it true?

IL-76 was the aircraft that had come from Haryana to drop off the NSG commandos during the attacks. That actual plane has also been used in State of Siege: 26/11. It hurts me to speak about it as I couldn’t be a part of that sequence. I was supposed to shoot on that plane too, but because I wasn’t available then I couldn’t shoot. Mohit Dhingra actually was running in parallel with the plane. He was waving at them to stop the plane. Colonel Sen who trained us and was also a part of Operation Black Tornado, happened to look out and saw Mohit. So, they stopped the plane and he asked them to take him along. So, that is how he became a part of the rescue operation.

Produced and Created by Abhimanyu Singh of Contiloe Pictures, leading content powerhouse, and co-created and directed by Matthew Leutwyler, the gripping narrative provides a first-hand account of the tragedy that befell Mumbai, the city of dreams. The series shall shed light on the hitherto unknown facts about the entire incident.

State of Seige: 26/11 premieres on ZEE5 on 24 January 2019. Stay tuned for more dope and updates about the upcoming ZEE5 Original.

Watch the nomination special for the Zee Rishtey Awards here.

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