Parents of Colonel Santosh Babu, Commanding Officer of the 16 Bihar Regiment, who lost his life in the violent face-off with Chinese soldiers in Galwan valley area, are shocked by the unexpected loss.
Upender and Manjula, the parents said they had first been in disbelief but later accepted the truth after being informed by higher authorities about the face-off.
Manjula, the martyred Colonel's mother, said, "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. Since 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 today 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 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.
Twenty Indian Army personnel including a colonel were killed in the fierce clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley on Monday night, the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff in the region.
The Army initially said on Tuesday that an officer and two soldiers were killed. But in a late evening statement it revised the figure to 20 saying 17 others who "were critically injured in the line of duty and exposed to sub-zero temperatures at the standoff location succumbed to their injuries."
Government sources said the Chinese side too suffered "proportionate casualties" but chose not to speculate on the number.