Telangana on Thursday bid a tearful adieu to Colonel B. Santosh Babu, who was killed in a clash with Chinese troops in Ladakh on Monday. The mortal remains of the Commanding Officer of the 16 Bihar Regiment were brought to his hometown of Suryapet, where hundreds paid their tributes.
His last rites were performed with full military honours and by his father B Upender and his wife Santoshi, who was carrying their four-year-old son in her arms.
The Colonel's nine-year-old daughter, Manjula, other relatives and friends bid a tearful adieu.
People lined up on either side of the road and showered petals from rooftops on the bedecked Army vehicle carrying the mortal remains of the Colonel wrapped in the national flag.
Slogans of 'Santosh Babu Amar Rahe', 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and 'Vande Matram' rent the air as the funeral procession which began from Santosh Babu's house passed through various parts of the town to reach Kesaram on the outskirts.
Earlier, personnel from 16 Bihar Regiment presented a guard of honour before the coffin was carried on to the Army vehicle for the funeral procession.
Telangana minister Jagdish Reddy, State Legislative Council Chairman G Sukhender Reddy, State Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy, BJP state president Bandi Sanjay, Nizamabad MP D Aravind, Congress leader and Bhongir MP Komatireddy Venkatreddy, Army officers and top police and civil officials paid their tributes.
Army along with Suryapet district administration and police made elaborate arrangements keeping in view the norms to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Santosh Babu and 19 other soldiers were killed in the clashes with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley of Ladakh on Monday.
His mortal remains were brought to Hyderabad on Wednesday night and received by senior government officials and military personnel at Hakimpet Airport Station. Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and ministers KT Rama Rao, Malla Reddy, Mohammed Mahmood Ali paid their last respects.
Santosh Babu, an alumni of Sainik School Korukonda and National Defence Academy, got commissioned into the Bihar Regiment from Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and went on to complete the prestigious Defence Service Staff Course from Wellington before taking over the command of his Battalion.