23 children who were taken hostage by Subhash Batham, a murder accused out on bail, after inviting them to his daughter’s birthday party, were rescued late on Thursday night after police shot dead Batham in a 10 hours long stand-off at a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Farrukhabad. His wife too died today of injuries after being thrashed by locals.
The hostage drama began at Kasaria village on January 30 in afternoon and it took around ten hours for the police team and Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) Commandos to kill Batham and rescue the children safely. His wife was dragged out by locals and beaten up badly. She sustained injuries and was admitted to a hospital in critical state, but succumbed to her injuries today.
“The accused was killed and there were about 23 children who were rescued safely,” Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi told reporters at a hurriedly called press conference at 1.20 am.
“The accused had invited the children for the birthday party of his daughter and held them hostage. It started about 5.45 pm on January 30 and continued for about eight hours,” Director General of Police (DGP) O P Singh said, adding that in the entire operation they had tried to “engage” the accused and were successful.
The incident took place at Mohamadabad area on Thursday when Batham had invited 23 children to his house on the pretext of his one –year –old daughter’s birthday party and then locked them in taking them on gun point. When their children did not return after a while, neighbours went to his house and knocked at his door they realized something is wrong.
When they tried to get the door opened, he started firing from inside in which one person was injured in the leg.
Batham even threw a low intensity bomb from the window when the police reached at his door. The ATS team too joined them. Police tried to negotiate with him for hours on phone calls but that did not work out and Batham did not budge to release the children.
A six- month –old infant was released by him much before he was killed. Batham handing her over the kid to his neighbour from a balcony.
Eyewitnesses said a restive crowd gathered outside the house where the children were kept with some women wailing and praying for their safe release.
After midnight the police team attacked him and stormed the house.
Police said Batham, a 2001 murder accused, seemed to be mentally unstable. The motive of the accused was not known immediately.
Inspector General of Police, Kanpur Range, Mohit Agarwal, said, “The man called the children for a birthday party and held them hostage in the basement of the house. He fired six shots from inside the building.”
Batham initially wanted to talk to the local MLA, but refused to speak to the leader when he arrived, Agarwal said.
It is not clear yet whether the wife of Batham was part of his plan or not.