A colonel from Telangana, a young sepoy from Bengal's Sarang: Army reveals names of 20 soldiers killed in lethal face-off with China's PLA in Eastern Ladakh

The Indian Army, Wednesday, finally released the list of names of all those who have died so far in Ladakh. The list included the name of Colonel B Santosh Babu, the commanding officer of the Army’s 16 Bihar unit who was killed during the attack.

FP Staff June 17, 2020 21:24:30 IST
A colonel from Telangana, a young sepoy from Bengal's Sarang: Army reveals names of 20 soldiers killed in lethal face-off with China's PLA in Eastern Ladakh

A soldier from Tamil Nadu only a year away from retirement, a young jawan in his early twenties from Bengal's Sarang and a colonel from Telangana who has left behind two kids were all part of the 16 Bihar Rifle unit, and are among the 20 soldiers India lost to a violent face-off with China's People's Liberation Army in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley.

The Indian Army on Wednesday finally released the list of  names of all those who have died so far. The list included the name of Colonel B Santosh Babu, the commanding officer of the Army’s 16 Bihar unit who was killed during the attack.

Babu, according to The Economic Timesbelonged to the 105 “November” squadron and was commissioned as an officer in December 2004. He is survived by his elderly parents, wife and two kids aged eight and three years. The officer hailed from Telangana's Suryapeta district.

Babu's father, overwhelmed with the news, told the newspaper he himself wished to serve in the army. But instead, his son enrolled in the armed services to fulfill his wishes.

A colonel from Telangana a young sepoy from Bengals Sarang Army reveals names of 20 soldiers killed in lethal faceoff with Chinas PLA in Eastern Ladakh

File image of Colonel Santosh Babu. News18

"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 am very proud that he got many promotions in his 15 years of service," his father, Upender, a retired bank employee, said.

Babu's parents told News18 that he last spoke to them on 14 June, two days before he lost his life in the line of duty.

"You sent me to the army, now let me do my duty," Babu told his parents over the call. When his parents asked him about the situation on the border, he added, “you are not supposed to ask me that and I cannot tell you anything. Everything is fine."

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has announced all support to the family. Minister Jagadeesh Reddy will be present from the time the body is received to the completion of funeral rites, NDTV reported.

A colonel from Telangana a young sepoy from Bengals Sarang Army reveals names of 20 soldiers killed in lethal faceoff with Chinas PLA in Eastern Ladakh

Another jawan who lost his life was Rajesh Orang who joined the army in 2015 and died of injuries suffered in hand to hand combat with the Chinese Army at Galwan Valley in Ladakh region. His father Subhas was distraught when he received the news.

"My son served the country and gave his life for it," was all Subhas could say on Wednesday morning as he grieved his son's death.

Rajesh's mother Mamata was so overwhelmed by emotions that she could hardly speak. She was hoping to get him married when he came back on a holiday next.

Subhas, a marginal farmer in Belgoria village in Birbhum district, raised his children amid poverty. He said that he was informed by the army authorities on Tuesday evening about the death of Rajesh, who was in his early 20s.

Havildar K Palani, who hailed from Tamil Nadu had barely a year left in service. He had served in the army for 22 years, DMK president MK Stalin revealed in his tweet condoling the death of army personnel. Palani hailed from Kadukkalur village in Ramanathapuram district of southern Tamil Nadu. Political parties in Tamil Nadu, including the ruling AIADMK condoled his death and expressed solidarity with his family.

Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami has announced a solatium of Rs 20 lakh to his family and a government job for one person. Palani is survived by his wife and two children, a 10-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, NDTV report said.

Family sources told PTI that Palani served the army as a Havildar and had joined the armed forces at the young age of 18.

Palani's wife Vanathi Devi said her husband had not even participated in the recent 'grahapravesam' (house warming ceremony) of their house.

The names of other slain soldiers are: Sepoy Ankush Thakur, Sepoy Kundan Kumar Ojha Naib Subedar Nuduram Soren, Naib Subedar Mandeep Singjh, Naib Subedar Satnam Singh, Havildar Sunil Kuma, Havildar Bipul Roy, Naik Deepak Kumar, Sepoy Ganesh Ram, Sepoy Chandrakanta Pradhan, Sepoy Gurbinder, Sepoy Gurtej Singh, Sepoy Chandan Kumar, Sepoy Kundan Kumar, Sepoy Aman Kumar, Sepoy Jai Kishore Singh, and Sepoy Ganesh Hansda.

Senior leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have condoled their deaths adding that their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

In his opening remarks on day two of the virtual conference with chief ministers on coronavirus, he also said that India wants peace but is capable of giving a befitting reply, if instigated. For us, the unity and sovereignty of the country is most important, he said.

Modi said India has always tried to ensure that differences do not become disputes. Later, the prime minister and those attending the meeting observed silence of a few minutes as a mark of respect for the slain soldiers.

Rajnath also expressed solidarity with the bereaved families and said the loss of soldiers in Galwan Valley is deeply disturbing and painful.

In a series of tweets, Rajnath said Indian soldiers displayed exemplary courage and valour in the line of duty and sacrificed their lives in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.

"The Nation will never forget their bravery and sacrifice. My heart goes out to the families of the fallen soldiers. The nation stands shoulder to shoulder with them in this difficult hour. We are proud of the bravery and courage of India's bravehearts," he said.

The External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday said the violent face-off between armies of India and China in eastern Ladakh was the result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo in the region.

The ministry said both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement arrived earlier at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side.

The Indian and Chinese armies are engaged in the standoff in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh. A sizeable number of Chinese Army personnel even transgressed into the Indian side of the de-facto border in several areas including Pangong Tso.

The Indian Army has been fiercely objecting to the transgressions, and demanded their immediate withdrawal for restoration of peace and tranquillity in the area. Both sides held a series of talks in the last few days to resolve the row.

With inputs from PTI

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