With tears rolling down and head held high, martyred Colonel Santosh Babu's mother said, I am feeling sad that I lost my only son and at the same time feeling proud that he sacrificed his life for the nation."

Colonel Bikumalla Santosh Babu, the Commanding Officer (CO) of the 16 Bihar regiment who was one among the soldiers martyred in Galwan Valley during the violent face-off with the Chinese troops, hailed from Telangana's Suryapet. 

Parents of Santosh Babu
Parents of Colonel Santosh Babu. IBTimes Creative

'Everyone dies but it is a privilege to die for the country'

Babu's mother, Manjula further said, "My daughter-in-law was informed last night. She told me today afternoon at 2 pm. At first, we didn't believe it but later higher authorities told us what had happened. We're under deep shock. Our son faced many challenges." 

B Upender, father of the martyred Colonel, who is a retired banker, "I was always aware that one day I could hear what I heard today, and I was mentally prepared for it. Everyone dies but it is a privilege to die for the country and I am proud of my son." 

The parents were shaken but retained their stoic demeanour as they were proud their son fought bravely against terrorists throughout his 15 years career. Babu was the son of a retired bank employee and a homemaker and lived with his wife and two children in Delhi. Colonel Santosh Babu will be laid to rest tomorrow, June 18 at Suryapet. 

Colonel Bikkummala Santosh Babu of the 16 Bihar regiment was a resident of Telangana's Suryapet district.  After completing his studies in Suryapet, Colonel Babu attended the Sainik School in Korukonda and went to secure a graduation degree from Pune before enrolling in IMA-Dehradun. His first posting was in Jammu and Kashmir.

20 Indian soldiers killed in Galwan Valley standoff: Indian Army 

Chinese PLA Tibet Military Command drills
The night time high altitude drill by PLA has come amid the ongoing border standoff with India in Ladakh.Image Source: eng.chinamil.com.cn

The other soldiers who were martyred were identified as Palani from Tamil Nadu and Kundan Ojha. Indian Army issued a statement on Tuesday night wherein it said, "17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the standoff location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20."

Watch martyred Colonel Santosh Bapu's mother talk about her son: