In one of the worst flare-ups on the Indo-China border in the past 5 decades, an Indian army officer and two soldiers were martyred in Ladkah’s Galwan during a violent clash with the Chinese troops. As per a report by The Indian Express, the clashes erupted after an argument on the positioning of Chinese soldiers who were reportedly marking a new post towards the South of Galwan river in an area that is regarded as a "buffer zone" or a no man’s land. Meanwhile, China has accused Indian soldiers of "provoking and attacking Chinese personnel."
The news of the clashes came as a shock considering they occurred just a week after army generals from both sides engaged in de-escalation talks following the rising tensions along the LOC over the past few months. While there have been casualties on both sides, no official confirmation has come from China yet. As per the latest reports, 17 other army personnel have succumbed to serious injuries post the violent clashes.
The Indian army has released an official statement that says “Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged at the Galwan area where they had earlier clashed on the night of 15/16 June 2020. 17 Indian troops who were critically injured in the line of duty at the standoff location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain have succumbed to their injuries, taking the total that were killed in action to 20. Indian Army is firmly committed to protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation.”
Our heart goes out to the aggrieved families of these martyrs who have lost these Bravehearts. Colonel Santosh Babu, one of the martyrs, is survived by his wife, 8-year-old daughter, 4-year-old son, and his parents. While extremely saddened by his demise, his parents are also proud of his son’s martyrdom. “I am proud… but devastated, he won’t call me to say Amma,” his Colonel Babu's mom, Manjula said in a heartbreaking statement on Tuesday. She further added, "I am both sad and proud. My son has laid down his life for the country. As a mother I am sad. He was my only son."
"We are under deep shock. We could not believe it when we got to know about our son. I could not believe it as he was very brave. In the last fifteen years, he had been very successful. I immediately asked an officer. Later, several officers of the Army contacted me directly on the phone. They said they are making arrangements to get the body from that place to Suryapet," said B Upender, Colonel Babu’s father.
However, his father is also extremely proud of his son who fulfilled his dream by serving the nation, something that B Upender couldn’t do himself. Besides Colonel Babu, the other soldiers who were martyred in the clash included Nb Sub Nuduram Soren, Nb Sub Mandeep Singh, Nb Sub (Dvr) Satnam Singh, Havaldar K Palani, Havaldar Sunil Kumar, Havaldar Bipul Roy, Naik Deepak Kumar, Sep Rajesh Orang, Sep Kundan Kumar Ojha, Sep Ganesh Ram, Sep Chandrakata Pradhan, Sep Ankush, Sep Gurbinder, Sep Gurtej Singh, Sep Chandan Kumar, Sep Aman Kumar, Sep Jai Kishor Singh, Sep Kundan Kumar and Sep Ganesh Hansda.
Dear martyrs, thank you for safeguarding the country. Thank you for braving extreme temperatures, a deadly virus, and violent tropes to ensure our peace and safety while we sit confined at homes amidst a global pandemic. We owe our life to you and your families, and your sacrifices will not be forgotten.
Featured Image: Instagram
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