Col Santosh Babu, killed in Ladakh clash, cremated with military honours | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Col Santosh Babu, killed in Ladakh clash, cremated with military honours

Hindustan Times, Hyderabad | BySrinivasa Rao Apparasu | Edited by Ashutosh Tripathi
Jun 18, 2020 04:04 PM IST

Amid slogans of “Colonel Santosh Amar Rahe” by thousands of people assembled there, his father Upender lit the pyre at around noon. The army jawans from 16 Bihar regiment gave a gun salute to the departed soldier.

The mortal remains of Colonel Bikkumalla Santosh Babu - who died in the line of duty, along with 19 other soldiers, in a clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh on Monday night, were consigned to flames with full military honours in his agriculture farm at Kesaram village of Telangana’s Suryapet district on Thursday.

Several senior officials from the regiment conducted the proceedings as per the military procedures, including carrying the coffin up to the pyre. (HT Photo)
Several senior officials from the regiment conducted the proceedings as per the military procedures, including carrying the coffin up to the pyre. (HT Photo)

Amid chants of “Colonel Santosh Amar Rahe (long live Santosh Babu)” by thousands of people assembled there, his father Upender lit the pyre at around noon. The army jawans from 16 Bihar regiment gave a gun salute to the departed soldier.

Several senior officials from the regiment conducted the proceedings as per the military procedures, including carrying the coffin up to the pyre.

A large number of political leaders - Nalgonda MP Capt N Uttam Kumar Reddy, Bhongir MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, former MP Gutha Sukhender Reddy, state minister for power G Jagadish Reddy - senior officials and non-officials paid homage to the slain Colonel by placing wreaths on the body.

Earlier, thousands took part in the funeral procession to give an emotional farewell to the son of the soil by showering petals on the coffin and raising slogans hailing his sacrifice for the nation.

The six-km long procession, which began at this residence at Vidyanagar Colony, went through the streets of Suryapet town that observed complete shutdown as a mark of respect to the departed soul and reached the family’s agriculture farm at Kesaram village.

The body of Col Santosh, which was flown in a special aircraft to the military airport at Hakimpet on the outskirts of Hyderabad at around 7 pm on Wednesday, was later driven to Suryapet. Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan, Telangana IT minister K T Rama Rao, Hyderabad Mayor Bonthu Ram Mohan and others paid floral tributes to the soldier at the airport.

Thousands of people in Suryapet and nearby villages waited till late in the night to have a glimpse at the body of Col Santosh and pay their last respects to him. The steady flow of visitors continued till Thursday morning. At one stage, the queue was two kilometres long outside his residence. The police ensured that the mourners maintained physical distancing and wore face masks.

Health department officials distributed masks and hand sanitisers to the people and conducted thermal screening before allowing them into the house. Disinfectants were also sprayed at the premises of the house.

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