I am proud of my son, says martyred Colonel's mother

Hyderabad (IANS) The mother of Colonel B. Santosh Babu, who was killed by the Chinese Army in Eastern Ladakh on Monday night, is proud that her son made the supreme sacrifice for the sake of the country.

Commanding Officer Santosh Babu, who along with two jawans was killed in the face-off between the two armies during the de-escalation in Galwan Valley, hailed from Suryapet district in Telangana.

"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," said Manjula, fighting the tears.

Santosh is survived by his wife, nine-year old daughter and a four-year old son.

His parents were shocked on hearing the news of their son's killing on Tuesday afternoon. "Our daughter-in-law is in Delhi and she was informed last night. We received the news in the afternoon," she said.

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"We were not ready to believe but were told it is true. We have lost our son," said Santosh's father Upender, a retired bank officer.

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.

Santosh was with 16 Bihar Regiment and was serving on the Indo-China border for the last one-and-a-half years. He had told his parents that he would soon be transferred to Hyderabad, but the process was delayed because of the Covid-19 situation.

"I last spoke to him on Sunday night. I asked him about the reports of the two armies pulling back after the talks. He told me not to believe the reports as talks are different and the situation on the ground is different. He said the situation is serious. I told him to take care," said Manjula.

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