Colonel Santosh Babu was among those who lost his life during violent clashes with Chinese troops at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley in the Eastern Ladakh region. Along with him, two jawans were also martyred in the deadly clash.
Colonel Santosh was the Commanding Officer of the 16 Bihar regiment. He died during the face off with Chinese soldiers in Galwan valley area near Patrolling Point 14.
Santosh Babu is survived by his wife, nine-year-old daughter and four-year-old son. His mother said she was both sad and proud. “I am both sad and proud. My son has laid down his life for the country. As a mother I am sad. He was my only son,” she said.
“We were not ready to believe but were told it is true. We have lost our son,” Santosh’s father, a retired bank officer, said.
He recalled that Santosh joined the Sainik School in the sixth class. “I wanted to serve in the Army but I could not achieve the goal. I realised my dream through my son. He was very talented and got many promotions in his 15 years of service,” he said.
The Army said India lost an officer and two soldiers during the violent face-off, while there were casualties on the Chinese side as well. The number of casualties on the Chinese side is not yet clear.
According to a senior military officer, it is the first incident involving the casualty of an Indian soldier in a violent clash with the Chinese Army after 1975 when four Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush at Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about last night’s clash as well on the overall situation in eastern Ladakh after he held a high-level meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs.