Colonel Santosh Babu, who hails from Telangana, was one of the soldiers killed in the violent face-off with Chinese troops at LAC.

Santosh Kumar
news Standoff Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 19:17

Colonel B Santosh Babu, the Commanding Officer (CO) of the 16 Bihar regiment, was one among the soldiers killed in the standoff with Chinese troops in Ladakh's Galwan Valley region on Monday night. The Army officer was a native of Suryapet district in Telangana.

“I am both sad and happy,” said Santosh’s mother Manjula, while speaking about her son’s death to the media. Breaking into tears, she added, “I am happy that my son sacrificed his life for the country but as a mother, I grieve his loss. He is my only son.”  

"I could not join the army and serve my country. So I wanted my son to join the defence forces and serve our country though my relatives discouraged the idea," B Upender, father of the slain Colonel and a retired banker, said.

Colonel Santosh and his family were residing in Delhi. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Watch what the officer's family had to say

Babu and two soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night during a clash with Chinese troops in the first such incident involving fatalities after a gap of 45 years, signalling a massive escalation in the five- week border standoff in the sensitive region. By Tuesday night, the Indian army confirmed that 17 other soldiers had also died at the LAC.

Expressing her condolences, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan wrote, “Lets pay our homage to Col Santosh Babu, Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar Regiment. The Valiant officer made the ultimate sacrifice today at Galwan Valley. I pray for all the martyrs and their grieving families. May God bless their souls (sic).” 

Earlier, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami tweeted condolences to the family of Palani from Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu, who was also killed in the violent face-off with Chinese soldiers at the LAC. 40-year-old Palani belonged to Kadukkalar village in Ramanathapuram. 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami tweeted, “I am deeply grieved by the news that Palani, a soldier from Kadukaalur village in Ramanathapuram district has died as part of the forces protecting the Ladakh border against Chinese army. I express my deepest condolences to the family of Palani who has been martyred (sic)."

According to local media reports, Palani joined the Indian army when he was 18 years old and has been in the Indian army for over two decades. His wife's name is Vanathi Devi and he has two children--one boy and a girl.  

Also read: Army officer, 2 soldiers killed in ‘violent face-off’ with Chinese troops in Ladakh

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