Ladakh face-off | All set for final journey of Colonel Santosh Babu

Colonel B Santosh Babu’s wife at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, in Hyderabad, on Wednesday.  

Colonel Bikkumalla Santosh Babu, Commanding Officer of 16th Bihar Regiment, who was killed amid face-off with the Chinese troops at Galwan Valley on Monday night, will be laid to rest at his family-owned agriculture land at Kesaram in the town on Thursday.

Officials of the Indian Army have inspected the half-acre site along with District Collector T. Vinay Krishna Reddy.

“In full adherence to military procedures, the funeral will also be according to COVID-19 regulations. About 50 Army officials and 50 relatives will be present,” Mr. Reddy said.

Superintendent of Police R. Bhaskaran said social-distance boxes have been painted right from the street corner to the officer’s residence for visitors, who would be allowed to pay respects from the time the body arrives here for the start of the final 6-km. journey.

Municipal Commissioner P. Ramanjula Reddy appealed to businessmen, shopkeepers and commercial centres on the bus station-Shankar Vilas centre-Court junction-SP office route to voluntarily close down their establishments as mark of respect to Col. Santosh Babu.

Meanwhile, State government representative for the conduct of final rites, Energy Minister G. Jagadish Reddy, also the local legislator, reviewed the arrangements.

Apart from leaders from the State, sources said a few from the Centre, including Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy, are likely to attend.

About 250 police officials, under supervision of two DSPs of Suryapet police will be on bandobust duty, and a Major-rank officer of the Indian Army with his 50 men will conduct the final ceremony.

An olive-green Army vehicle decorated with leaves and marigold, with the Colonel’s poster on the top, is kept ready at the district police office for the funeral procession scheduled for 7.45 a.m.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 5:13:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/all-set-for-final-journey-of-colonel-santosh-babu/article31853769.ece

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