Service No. IC64405M

Date of Birth: 13 Feb 1983

Place of Birth : Suryapet, (Telangana)

Service : Army

Last Rank : Colonel

Unit : 16 Bihar

Arm/Regt : The Bihar Regiment

Operation : CI & IS Ops

Award: MVC

Date of Martyrdom : 15 Jun 2020

Col Bikumalla Santosh Babu MVC

Col Bikumalla Santosh Babu was born on 13 Feb 1983 and hailed from the Suryapet district of Telangana. Son of Shri Bikumalla Upender Babu a banker and Smt Manjula a homemaker, Col did his schooling from Sainik School Korukonda in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. While studying in the Sainik School his inclination towards the Armed Forces grew and the foundation of his future military life was laid. His resolve to join the Army grew with the age and consequently, he got selected for the prestigious NDA after finishing school. He later went to  IMA Dehradun and was commissioned as a Lieutenant on 10 Dec 2004 at the age of 22 years. He got commissioned into 16 Bihar of the Bihar Regiment, an infantry Regiment well known for its dauntless soldiers and numerous battle exploits.

 

As a young Lieutenant, he got posted to Jammu as his first assignment. He soon evolved into a committed soldier and a fine officer with superior field-craft skills. Besides being a tough soldier he was very affable and caring which endeared him to his peers and subordinates as well. He also got selected to attend the prestigious course at Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, a tri-service Institute for Officers’ training. Later he was deputed to serve with the Rashtriya Rifles battalion deployed in J&K for counter-insurgency operations. During this tenure, he participated in a number of counter-insurgency and counter-infiltration operations and proved his mettle on various occasions.

 

After putting in few years of service he got married to Ms. Santoshi and the couple had a daughter Abhija and a son Anirudh Teja. As a Major, he also got selected to join the Indian contingent for UN Operations in Congo and took part in numerous operations there too. By 2020, he had put in around 16 years of service and had been promoted to the rank of a Colonel. On 02 Dec 2019 he was appointed as the Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar, his parent unit deployed in Ladakh.

 

Operation Snow Leopard : 15 June 2020

 

During June 2020, Col Santosh Babu was commanding 16 Bihar battalion deployed in eastern Ladakh close to the Line of Actual Control(LAC) as part of Operation Snow Leopard. Since early June the tension along the LAC was building up due to construction work in Galwan valley close to the road going from Leh to Daulat Beg Oldie. The Chinese had a serious objection to the construction of a bridge across the Galwan river into the Aksai Chin area. The area held strategic importance to India as well as China as it dominated the road from Leh to Daulat Beg Oldie an airstrip of great military significance to India. There had been many rounds of talks between senior military officials from both sides to diffuse the tensions. On 15 June 2020 night, hectic Chinese activities were noticed across the bridge in Galwan valley and the Indian Army decided to take up the matter with Chinese forces to ask them to respect the LAC and adhere to the position as agreed earlier during the talks.

 

Considering the gravity of the situation, Col Santosh Babu himself decided to lead the negotiations. However, an altercation during the discussion raised the tempers leading to a scuffle. Soon the scuffle turned into a violent clash with the Chinese soldiers attacking Col Santosh Babu and his men with deadly clubs and rods. The Indian soldiers were greatly outnumbered and the Chinese soldiers seemed to be prepared for the attack. As the clashes escalated the Company commander of 16 Bihar also joined along with other soldiers to take on the Chinese soldiers. The clashes went on for many hours during which many Indian soldiers got seriously injured. Undaunted by the violent and aggressive action by the overwhelming strength of enemy soldiers, Col Santosh Babu continued to resist the enemy’s attempt to pushback Indian troops. Despite being grievously injured, he led from the front like a true military leader to deter the vicious enemy attack. He resisted the enemy attack till his last breath, inspiring troops to hold ground. Col Santosh Babu and 19 other soldiers later succumbed to their injuries and were martyred. The other brave hearts included Nb Sub Nanduram Soren, Nb Sub Satnam Singh, Nb Sub Mandeep Singh, Hav Bipul Roy, Hav Sunil Kumar, Hav K Palani, Naik Deepak Singh, Sep Ganesh Hansda, Sep Chandan Kumar, Sep CK Pradhan, Sep Aman Kumar, Sep Kundan Kumar, Sep Rajesh Orang, Sep Ganesh Ram, Sep KK Ojha, Sep Jai Kishore Singh, Sep Gurtej Singh, Sep Ankush, and Sep Gurvinder Singh.

 

Col Bikumalla Santosh Babu was a valiant soldier and an officer par excellence who led from the front and laid down his life in the line of his duty following the highest traditions of the Indian Army. Col Bikumalla Santosh Babu was given the nation’s second highest gallantry award, “Maha Vir Chakra” on 26 Jan 2021 for his extraordinary courage, leadership and supreme sacrifice.

 

Col Bikumalla Santosh Babu is survived by his father Shri Bikumalla Upender Babu, mother Smt Manjula, wife Smt Santoshi Babu, daughter Abhija and son Anirudh Teja.

The citation for the “Maha Vir Chakra” awarded to him reads :

 

Colonel Bikumalla Santosh Babu, Commanding Officer of 16 Bihar deployed in Galwan Valley (Eastern Ladakh) during Operation Snow Leopard, was tasked to establish an observation post in face of the enemy. Organizing and briefing his troops about the situation with a sound plan, he successfully executed the task. While holding the position his column faced stiff resistance from the adversary who attacked using lethal and sharp weapons along with heavy stone pelting from adjoining heights.

Undaunted by the violent and aggressive action by the overwhelming strength of enemy soldiers, the officer in the true spirit of service before self, continued to resist the enemy’s attempt to pushback Indian troops. Despite being grievously injured, he led from the front with absolute command and control despite hostile conditions to deter the vicious enemy attack at his position. The officer resisted the enemy attack till his last breath, inspiring troops to hold ground.

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  • https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/officer-could-have-drowned-while-saving-others-in-congo/1620182
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22 Comments
  • Kanika

    2020at12:41 am Reply

    Such brave hearts, Rest in peace sir

  • Naga Venkata Satya Sai Nehru

    2020at6:18 pm Reply

    I am proud to be an Indian .
    You work very hard at the border,
    to protect us all from the harmer,
    you are strong and brave,
    to give us confidence,
    I am very sad to know that you passed away ,
    you are my inspiration.
    Bharat Mata Ki Jai

  • Ranveer sanghvi

    2020at10:52 am Reply

    I am proud to be an Indian .
    You work very hard at the border,
    to protect us all from the harmer,
    you are strong and brave,
    to give us confidence,
    I am very sad to know that you passed away ,
    you are my inspiration.
    Big Salute Col Santosh Babu , The Brave Son of Bharath

    A Gallant Solider who displayed immense Bravery in the face of Great Odds, You will always be Saluted for your ultimate Sacrifice.
    Nation First, No Compromise.
    Indian Flag will always Fly High………
    Jai Hind, Vande Matharam.

  • Aadya Passi

    2020at2:24 pm Reply

    A Heartfelt thanks and Big salute to Col Santosh Babu
    May your soul always rest in peace
    India is blessed to have saviours and warriors like you
    So
    Thank you for protecting us.
    Thank you for sacrificing your everything for us.
    You are the saviours of Bharat Mata(INDIA).
    Thanks for being with us and protecting us in every situation.
    Thank you Indian Military. 🙂
    These thank yous are definitely not enough
    But your unmatched contribution and sacrifice will always be remembered
    JAI HIND

  • Aadya Passi

    2020at2:30 pm Reply

    A heartfelt thanks to Col Santosh babu
    India is blessed to have saviours and warriors like you so
    Thank you for protecting us.
    Thank you for sacrificing your everything for us.
    You are the saviours of Bharat Mata(INDIA).
    Thanks for being with us and protecting us in every situation.
    Thank you Indian Military. 🙂
    These thank you are definitely not enough but we are grateful for unmatched contribution and bravery
    You will always ne remembered
    Jai Hind

  • Jakka Manohar

    2021at3:34 pm Reply

    My Heartfelt remembrance to a great soul who had given a supreme sacrifice for our country
    Words are not enough to convey thanks to all that you have done for our fellow countrymen
    We are deeply inspired by your commitment and duty towards the nation
    We will always duly remember you in our heart, mind and soul
    We, the citizens of India, are proud of soldiers like you who kindle the spirit of patriotism in each one of us
    Your contribution to the nation will always remain with us
    As a tribute, we will ensure to inculcate a strong value system and the spirit of patriotism in the generations to come.

    Jai Hind. Jai Bharat.

  • Geetanjali Saha

    2021at6:31 pm Reply

    We are extremely proud of you Col Santosh Babu and your family. Your dedication and commitment to the nation is appreciable. You will always be remembered in our heart.

  • Ezabel Gomes

    2021at12:22 am Reply

    His Life
    In our warm cozy beds we sleep,
    And somewhere in a village a mother silently weeps.
    Her soldier son is out there fighting a battle,
    While his wife soothes the baby with a bright new rattle.

    I wake up in the morning,
    And complain about my burnt toast.
    While the soldier goes hungry planning for his next post.

    As I make my way through the day,
    Cribbing and complaining about a wasteful life.
    Oblivion of the hardships that our soldiers strive.
    Every hour, every minute, every second;
    Is a chance for us to cherish what we have.
    Only a soldier knows the worth;
    It’s time we understand.

    The family is in pain,
    But his life has not gone in vain.
    A beautiful life he insured for me and you,
    Let’s salute our soldiers for a future bright and new.

    Jai Hind!

  • Neha Taneja

    2021at6:43 pm Reply

    Words will never suffice how thankful we are for your services. Everyone stands up to safeguard their family from danger but people like him not only stand up to safe guard their own families but also the families of crores of Indians. So thank you for being so brave and courageous. Thank you for making us feel safe every single day. Thank you for all your services. Thank you Col Santosh Babu. You shall always remain in our prayers.

  • Sandeep Yeligotla

    2021at2:54 pm Reply

    When the nation is about to drown,
    There are people standing firm to protect its crown.
    They thrive for the nation day and night,
    Against nature and enemies they stand to fight.

    Without any fear they sacrifice their life,
    Not even thinking about their children and wife.
    The pride of the nation is what they preserve,
    But still don’t get the respect that they deserve.

    Guarding border and sharing shoulder,
    With nothing to eat and dying beneath,
    Their eyes never show that they’ve cried,
    But protecting their people will always make them smile with pride.

    Every time a soldier dies,
    Motherland in grief always cries.

    How would it be for a father to see his son go up to the skies before him?
    How would it be for a mother who still remembers his last words while leaving home “I’ll come back soon, Ma”
    How would it be for a young wife with a 2 years old daughter to dare to imagine her future without him?
    How would be for a sister/brother to look at the home without him?

    But he comes home,
    With medals on his chest,
    Wrapped up in the national flag,
    Telling the nation not to cry,
    As he was a soldier born to die!

    He is your brother,
    Fighting for the same mother,
    Do you even bother or realize his sacrifices?
    It’s high time to acknowledge what they did which you are not able to do,
    Your freedom comes at the cost of their lives.
    Visit a soldier’s home, contribute something to their family, share love, bring smiles to the bereaved families.
    Though the word “Thank You” is not a sufficient one, it’s the least we can all do and say…

    Thank you so much for your service and bravery!!!

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