A pall of gloom descended on Telangana's Suryapet as people from a cross section of society mourned the death of braveheart Colonel B. Santosh Babu, who was killed by the Chinese troops in a clash in Ladakh on Monday. Santosh Babu (39) and 19 soldiers were killed in the clashes with the Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh on Monday. The news of Santosh's death was first conveyed to his wife in Delhi on Monday night while his parents who live in Suryapet were informed Tuesday afternoon.
Santosh Babu is survived by his wife Santoshi, nine-year-old daughter Abhigna and four-year-old son Anirudh, who arrived in Hyderabad from New Delhi on Wednesday. The family later left for their home town Suryapet in Telangana, where the mortal remains of the Colonel are likely to be brought later in the day for the last rites.
Upon arrival, Santosh Babu's family was received by the Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar and senior Army officials at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.
Santosh, Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar Regiment, had been serving on the Indo-China border since last one-and-half year and his family was looking forward to his transfer to Hyderabad. The transfer was delayed due to COVID-19 outbreak.
Santosh's father B. Upender, a retired bank officer and mother Manjula said, though they were sad over losing their only son, they were also proud that he made the supreme sacrifice for the country.
Upender said he wanted to join the Army and since he could not achieve this he realized his dream through his son.
Santosh joined Sainik School at Korukonda and graduated from the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy. He had joined the Indian Army in 2004 and had risen to the rank of Colonel.
"He was very talented and won many awards. He was looking forward to achieving much more," said a distraught Manjula.
She recalled that her son spoke to them over the phone a day before the clashes and termed the situation on the border as serious. The parents had advised him to take care.
(With IANS inputs)