New Delhi: Colonel Santosh Babu, the army officer who was martyred in a bloody clash with China in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley two days ago, spoke to his mother over the phone on Sunday. Also Read - Boycott China: Chinese Toys, Rakhis & Decorative Lights May Not be Sold This Festive Season

Talking to news agency ANI, his parents said it took them some time to come to grips with reality after they heard the news of their son’s demise. “At first, we didn’t believe it but later higher authorities told us what had happened. Our son faced many challenges,” B Upender, the officer’s father, told ANI. Also Read - 'Look at This Beauty': Internet Left Amazed After Pictures of India's Only 'Golden Tiger' Go Viral

“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,” he added. Also Read - Nationwide Lockdown on Cards? After States, is Centre Planning to Impose Total Shutdown? Read Complete Truth

As per a report by NDTV, on a phone call with his mother on Sunday, the deceased officer seemed concerned about the Ladakh standoff. But, he refused to divulge details citing a sensitive subject. His father had asked him to be careful.

“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,” mother Manjula asserted.

The Colonel 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.

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.