UP hostage crisis: All 23 children rescued, captor shot dead
The 11-hour hostage drama in Uttar Pradesh's Farukkhabad ended early on Friday as angry villagers stormed the house of the kidnapper with bricks and hammers and police managed to rescue 23 children unscathed after shooting dead the criminal.
According to eyewitness, the villagers lost patience as the evening ended into the night without any solution in sight. The locals broke open the gate of Subhash Batham's house, where the children were being kept hostage, despite the police effort to stop them.
Wife beaten up by villagers, dies
As soon as the gate broke, the captor Batham opened fire injuring two police personnel. He was killed in retaliatory firing by the police. The villagers also beat up his wife Ruby who died an hour later at the community health centre.
Batham's body has been sent for post-mortem. The couple's one-year-old daughter Gauri was handed over to a neighbour.
The 23 children rescued have been sent for medical examination.
Sources said that Batham had kept the children confined in the basement, which no one knew about.
House with no windows
"His house seemed weird. There were no windows and we do not know when he built a basement where the children had been kept and stored the ammunition, including bombs.
"Since there was no opening in the walls, we could not make out what was happening inside even though we were monitoring the situation with drone cameras," said a police official who was a part of the rescue operation.
According to sources, the captor first released a six-month-old girl Shabnam. His wife Ruby came on to the terrace to hand over the baby to the police.
This, sources, said made the parents of other children lose patience who then attacked the house ignoring the instructions of security forces.
Even as the villagers were attacking the main door of the house, Batham threw out a typed letter, addressed to the District Magistrate, in which he said that the village head had denied him a house and a toilet.
Life term for murder
Inspector General of Police Mohit Agarwal, who supervised the entire operation, said that 40-year-old Batham was sentenced to a life term for the murder of his uncle in 2005. He had killed his uncle in 2001.
He was granted bail after spending ten years in jail, but three months ago, he was again sent to jail on charges of theft. He had been released one and a half months back.
During his initial interaction with the villagers on Thursday night, Batham told them: "Now you all will face the consequences of troubling me."
The hostage drama began at around 3 pm on Thursday when Batham invited children for his daughter's birthday.
It was only around 7 pm when parents went to get back their children and Batham refused to open the door warning that the children would not be released, that the crisis unfolded.
He demanded that the local legislator Narendra Singh be called. When his friend Anupam Dubey tried to convince him to open the door, he fired from under the door injuring Dubey.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on Friday, announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for the police team who successfully carried out the rescue operation.
Additional Chief Secretary Home Avanish Awasthi said that the Chief Minister, who was closely monitoring the operation, has also announced Certificates of Appreciation will be given to all personnel involved in the operation.
One child rescued
According reporsts on social media, one of the children held hostage has been rescued.
India hostage crisis: UP administration requests NSG deployment
Farukkhabad, Uttar Pradesh: Uttar Pradesh ADG Law and Order PV Ramashastry on Thursday said that the National Security Guard (NSG) have been requisitioned by the state administration to be sent to Farrukhabad, where more than 15 people have been held hostage.
"We got the information around 4:30. The police team reached immediately. Senior officers were informed. He has weapons. We are taking the time to deal with the situation. All the children are safe now. ATS team is about to reach there. We have also sent a requisition for NSG. Our teams are in negotiation with him," Ramashastry told ANI.
Earlier, Farrukhabad Police had said that more than 15 children and a few women have been held hostage at a house.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday evening convened a high-level meeting on the Farrukhabad incident.
Ramashastry said that the accused had been sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case and he was out on a bail.
"He had called the children on the pretext of a birthday party and held them hostage. He opened fire on villagers. DM, SSP, and Police forces are present near his house. Quick Response Team (QRT) and Special Operation Group (SOG) team are there. Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is on its way. It is being said that around 20 children are inside", he said.
UP CM holds high-level meeting
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday evening convened a high-level meeting on the Farrukhabad incident, where more than 15 people, including children, have been held hostage.
The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Home), Director General of Police, ADGP (Law and Order).
The Chief Minister also spoke to Farrukhabad District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police, to take stock of the ground situation.
Meanwhile, sharing details of the incident ADG law and order PV Ramashastry told ANI, "The man had been sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case and he was out on a bail. He had called the children on the pretext of a birthday party and held them hostage. He opened fire on villagers. DM, SSP and Police force are present near his house."
"Quick Response Team (QRT) and Special Operation Group (SOG) team are there. Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is on its way. It is being said that around 20 children are inside", he added.
In a shocking incident, a man with a criminal background invited about 20 children to celebrate his 'birthday' and then held them hostage.
The incident took place on Thursday evening in Mohamadabad area of Farukkhabad when Subhash Batham, accused in a criminal case, invited about 20 local children to his house for a party and then locked them in.
When some local people tried to get the door opened, he started firing from inside in which one person injured his leg. Batham even hurled a low intensity bomb from the window.
He allegedly shouted that he had been wrongly framed in a criminal case.
UP Director General of Police (DGP) O.P. Singh told reporters that the police were acting with caution to ensure the safety of the children locked inside.
'A special team of trained personnel is at the spot and we have kept NSG commandos on standby. Our priority is to ensure the safety of the children and rescue them at the earliest. It is a difficult situation and all senior police officers are at the spot. We want to rescue the children without any collateral damage. The local legislator, Nagendra Singh, is also trying to talk to the man,' he said.
The police have also called in Batham's relatives and local village leaders.
A huge crowd has collected at the spot comprising mainly parents of the children who have been held hostage.
Tension prevailed in the area and a heavy deployment of forces has been made in the village.