K Unnikrishnan, 62, father of major Sandeep Krishnan martyred in the 26/11 terrorist attack reached Navi Mumbai on Tuesday enroute his peace rally on a cycle from New Delhi. The rally that began on October 26 will culminate on Friday, November 26 at the Gateway of India.
The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP), Thane president Suresh Haware and several residents welcomed Unnikrishnan, a retired officer of the Indian Space Research Organisation, at Vashi.
Unninikrishnan, accompanied by another cyclist Hiralal Yadav, 55, took this journey to pay tribute to the martyrs of the terrorist attack and to spread a message of unity among Indians.
Speaking at a function organised in his honour, Unnikrishan said, "I have lost my only son but I am proud that he has given his life for the country. I had never asked him to join the armed forces but he was very determined and always wanted to fight for the country."
Speaking on his message, Unnikrishnan said, "We should respect our country and not fight on caste and religious issues. We are all Indians first and then Maharashtrians, Tamilians and others."
On his journey, Unnikrishnan said, "I love cycling and hence decided on this mode. We have completed around 1,600 km of the journey so far."
Speaking on the occasion, Unnikrishnan's wife Dhanalakshmi said, "I am very proud of my son who lost his life for the country. He was very dedicated to the country."
"My only regret is that that he did not teach me cycling. He had told me he would do so. I could then have taken part in the rally."
Yadav, who had been on a Bharat Jodo Yatra on cycle for the last two years, met Unnikrishnan on May 24 this year.
"I thought that if this 62-year-old person can cycle faster than me, then the two of us should unite to spread the message of peace and hence this rally was planned."