New Delhi: Colonel Santosh Babu, one of at least three Indian casualties from last night’s bloody clash with China in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, was a resident of Telangana’s Suryapet. The Commanding Officer of the 16 Bihar Regiment, Colonel Babu lost his life in the sudden Chinese provocation, along with Havaldar Palani and Sepoy Kundan Ojha, who were from Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand respectively. Also Read - 'India's Territorial Integrity Won't be Compromised Under PM Modi': JP Nadda on Ladakh Clash
Colonel Babu, who had been deployed in Ladakh since the last 18 months, had studied in Sainik School, Hyderabad and was an alumnus of the Pune-based National Defence Academy (NDA) and the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun. Also Read - Ladakh Clash: Galwan Valley Was Always Ours, Claims China; India Says Committed to Ensure Territorial Integrity
Father of a daughter and a son, his family was based in New Delhi. His parents, however, live in Telangana and got to know about the incident only today. Also Read - 'Words Can't Describe Pain I Feel': Rahul Gandhi Pays Tribute to Ladakh Martyrs
Speaking to media after her son’s martyrdom, his mother said, “I’m proud that my son sacrificed his life for the country. But as a mother, I’m sad. My daughter-in-law was informed last night and she informed us today.”
Notably, while India has announced all its casualties thus far, China is yet to give a figure of casualties/injuries to its troops. In a statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) blamed China for all the casualties, which, the ministry said, were ‘avoidable’.
These were the first casualties in an India-China border skirmish since 1975.