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 Babu 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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  • Anisha Udeshi

    2021 at 10:11 am Reply

    We are thankful to you for the supreme sacrifice that is done by you, we salute your parents that gave birth to you and inculcated the emotion to protect the country at any cost !

    We pray to God that the family members are protected always for financial and emotional support that your family needs at any time ! You would find we standing besides you always.

    lots of love


  • Anantha Rao Sanapathi.

    2021 at 10:11 am Reply

    Dear Brave Family Members..
    First of all Happy Freedom Day to all in advance….

    I would like to say a Sorry and a Thank you.

    Sorry for the lost we Had.. He may not be with us now. But, He will be there forever in our hearts.

    Thanks, you gave us a brave heart. Everyday we live was torn and brought from his dairy.

    There are no words to convey our gratitude.
    There is no honour to replace your sacrifice.

    Chin Up.. We are proud of him..

    Stay strong, we are with you.

    With Love…

  • Sunny Kumar

    2021 at 10:29 am Reply

    You will always be remembered for your bravery and velour that you have shown during your service to this nation. You never let this country down. Big Big Salute to you Sir.

    Jai Hind, Jai Bharat.

  • Sanjana Chopperla

    2021 at 12:09 am Reply

    I would like to take a moment to sincerely thank the Colonel for the selfless leader he has been. Can never be grateful enough to the relentless services rendered by the Army to keep the country safe. Conveying regards to Colonel’s family who I feel are the bravest of the lot, given their sacrifice and love for the country. We all take pride in Colonel’s sacrifice and we pray he’s in a better world today. He has been an inspiration to masses and an epitome of selflessness that shall remain so in the history of mankind.


    2021 at 9:55 am Reply

    My deepest sympathy on the loss of Col Bikumalla Santosh Babu during Operation Snow Leopard. He was a true hero. The country salutes him for his great sacrifice. Fighting the enemy in such areas is really tough and the country salutes him. He led from the front and sacrificed his life for mother India. Really proud of him !!! Jai Hind !

  • Seshnath G

    2021 at 3:44 pm Reply

    “The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men.” Our freedom is a precious gift guarded by brave souls like Col Santhosh who personifies the values that this great country stands for. Salute to the valiant family that nurtured such spirited soldier who is willing to make ultimate sacrifice to protect his nation and people. There is no better way to show our gratitude than remembering this brave soldier so long as we savor the winds of freedom he gifted us with. Jai Hind!

  • Cyrus Adajania

    2021 at 1:30 pm Reply

    For the supreme sacrifices and exemplary bravery from our TRUE HEROs we salute you and thank you for the relentless service rendered by the Army to keep the country safe. There is no honor to replace your sacrifice. There are no words to convey our gratitude to the Indian Army. The Josh is “HIGH SIR”. Indian Army – the name itself sends shiver down the enemy camp. Jai Hind !

  • P Suresh kumar

    2021 at 2:51 pm Reply

    A Brave soldier. Selfless & Ever loyal to our Great Motherland India. Supreme Sacrifice. Laid down his life in the service of the Nation. Can never be forgotten.

  • Deepthi

    2022 at 5:46 pm Reply

    Your son is a true hero and a credit to you. He brought honor to the uniform he wore and the sacrifice he made for what he believed shall never be forgotten

  • Vanita Singh

    2023 at 7:34 pm Reply

    My recently released ballad GALWAN pays tribute to the undaunted bravery of Col. Santosh Babu, MVC (Posthumous) and his brave soldiers, commemorating their raw courage for self-defence in hand-to-hand combat at 14,000’ in a buffer zone without use of firearms, with an enemy resorting to subterfuge. Their extraordinary heroism in putting their lives on the line for country and people through a proud tradition of professional discipline and duty, makes us endlessly indebted to them for a simple, yet profound reason: they gave their tomorrows for our today. Sharing the links to my ballad:

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