Indian Army is the pride of our nation. Any death of an Indian soldier is seen as a personal loss to every member of country.
Even in the face of a huge personal loss, Manjula, the mother of Colonel Santosh Babu who lost his life during the face-off between India and China in Ladakh on Monday night said he is proud of her son. “I lost my son, I cannot bear it. But he died for the country and that makes me happy and proud,” she said.
Colonel Santosh, a native of Suryapet town in Telangana is the highest-ranking India officer who was killed in the clashes. The Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar Regiment was also among the first three confirmed fatalities in the Indian side, which later rose to 20.
Manjula, the martyred Colonel’s mother, told ANI, “We received the news, yesterday afternoon at 2 pm that my son has been martyred. I could not believe that my son has been martyred.”
We are under deep shock, We could not believe it when we got to know about our son. I could not believe it as he was very brave. For the last fifteen years, he had gained success. I immediately inquired from one of the officers. Later, several officers of the Army contacted directly through my phone. They said that they are making arrangements to get the body from that place to Suryapet,” Col Santosh’s father, Upender said.
He added that the body of his son will reach Suryapet by Wednesday evening, and also said that he has been given assurance of full support from leaders and officials, including MoS (Home) G Kishan Reddy.
By tomorrow (Wednesday) the body will reach here, along with my daughter-in-law and the kids, the officer told me on phone. Kishan Reddy spoke to me on the phone as well. All the delegates from Suryapet, including, Collector has given us assurance to support us at this time. An Army official has informed that the body will start in the day and reach Suryapet at around 4 pm via Chandigarh to Hyderabad and then Suryapet,” he said.
Upender also said that his son had fulfilled his personal dreams of serving the country. “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,” Upender said.
The family also said that Santosh was soon expecting a posting to Hyderabad and had spoken to his mother on Sunday where the conversation centered around the ongoing tensions. “He last spoke to me on Sunday night,” his mother said.