Telangana on Thursday bid tearful adieu to its son Colonel B. Santosh Babu, who laid down his life in the violent clash with Chinese troops in Ladakh on Monday.
The mortal remains of the Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar Regiment were consigned to flames with full military honours in his home town Suryapet as thousands paid glowing tributes to the braveheart.
Santosh Babu's father B. Upender performed the last rites assisted by the martyred officer's 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 tearful adieu. Public representatives, political leaders, Army officers and others presented the last salute to the warrior.
People lined up on either side of the road and showered petals from rooftops on the bedecked Army vehicle carrying the body of the martyred Colonel wrapped in the national flag.
There was an outpouring of patriotic sentiments as people poured on the streets to bid adieu to the martyred officer. 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 the 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 body was brought to Hyderabad on Wednesday night. The mortal remains were received by senior government officials and military personnel of headquarters, Telangana and Andhra Sub Area with full military honours at Hakimpet Airport Station.
Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and ministers K.T. Rama Rao, Malla Reddy, Mohammed Mehmood Ali and Jadish Reddy and senior Army officials 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..