Hyderabad: The father of late Colonel Santosh Babu said Monday he was ‘not 100 per cent satisfied’ with the Mahavir Chakra posthumously awarded to the soldier. Santosh Babu fought heroically against the Chinese attack in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020. He was awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his gallantry. However, Santosh Babu’s father said his son should have been honoured with the Param Vir Chakra.
“It is not that I am unhappy. But I am not 100 per cent satisfied (with the award of Mahavir Chakra). There is scope for honouring him in a better way. In my opinion Santosh Babu should have been named for the highest military award Param Vir Chakra. He should have got that award for the gallantry he displayed while discharging his duties,” Babu’s father B Upendra said. He added the valour shown by his son had inspired many people, including those working in the defence forces.
Colonel Babu was the commanding officer of the 16 Bihar regiment. He was among 20 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in the fierce hand-to-hand combat June 15 last year in the Galwan Valley. It was an incident that marked one of the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in decades.
Upendra said his son fought with Chinese troops overcoming all the challenges due to the climatic condition. “My son and his men fought barehanded. He proved that India is superior and stronger than China by killing more enemy soldiers,” asserted Upendra.
According to him, Col Babu’s family did not get anything more than the departmental benefits that are usually given to the families of martyred soldiers.
The Telangana Government gave rupees five crore ex-gratia to SantoshBabu’s family. Also his wife was given a Group-I post and a residential plot to the family.