‘Not satisfied with Mahavir Chakra’ awarded to Col Santosh Babu, says father

Hyderabad: The father of late Colonel Santosh Babu, B Upendra has said he is not satisfied with the Mahavir Chakra posthumously awarded to him for his acts of gallantry against the Chinese attack in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June last year, adding that he was expecting Param Vir Chakra, the highest military award of the country, for the kind of sacrifice his son made for the nation.

Colonel Babu, the commanding officer of the 16 Bihar regiment, was among 20 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in the fierce hand-to-hand combat on June 15 last year along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

Param Vir Chakra expected

“We are not satisfied, I was expecting that my son would be conferred with Param Vir Chakra, the highest military award of the country for the kind of sacrifice he made for the nation,” he said.

He reminded that Colonel Babu fought the enemy without using weapons and inflicted heavy casualties to the enemy and his death also exposed the cunningness of China internationally.

Upendra said his son, overcoming the challenges posed by the climatic conditions of the area where he was posted, fought with Chinese troops.

The wife of Colonel Santosh Babu Santoshi told ANI, “He (Colonel Santosh Babu) and his team fought bravely and made a selfless sacrifice. Family members and the regiment are proud of them.”

“It’s a proud moment for everyone, particularly all Telugu, Telangana people, and Bihar Regiment. My husband’s supreme sacrifice has been recognized with one of the highest awards by the central government. I am sure it will motivate many Indians, each and every citizen of India and the Indian army, who all showed love and respect to him, on his sacrifice for our motherland. My kids are young now but I am sure they will always feel proud of their father. We only miss Santosh but he will be always with us, in our hearts, in our memories. This inspiration will carry with us through our life, Jai hind, Jai Jawan,” the wife of Colonel Santosh Babu said in a statement.

India lost 20 troops in the fiercest clash between the two sides in a long time while the Chinese also suffered significant casualties. The clash led to the hardening of India’s stand, which has now allowed troops to use weapons during patrolling after the use of unorthodox weapons by Chinese troops.

The Indian Army top brass recommended that soldiers who took on Chinese troops in the Galwan valley clash should be awarded the war-time chakra series awards on this Republic Day.

Chakra series awards

The wartime Chakra series awards include the highest Paramvir Chakra, Mahavir Chakra, and Vir Chakra.

The Telangana Government provided a compensation of Rs 5 crore to Santosh Babu’s family, besides a Group-I post to his wife and a residential plot.

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