Uttar Pradesh: Kids freed, captor shot dead, wife beaten to death

A Farrukhabad resident, who held over 20 children hostage after inviting them for his daughter's birthday party, was shot dead by the police early Friday morning.

Identified as Subhash Batham, he was accused of murder and out on bail; he kept the entire police and state administration on their toes for almost 11 hours, until he was killed by the police at around 1 am.

All the children, aged between six months and 15 years, were set free after almost the 11-hour house-siege ended.

Batham's wife was also killed in the rescue operation, although some locals claimed that she was lynched by the villagers. It is unclear if she was involved in the hostage taking or not.

According to some local residents, Batham's wife, who died in hospital late on Thursday night, had tried to escape from the spot, but was caught by angry parents who thrashed her and pelted stones at her. She sustained a head injury in the attack.

The police said Batham, who appeared to be mentally unstable, initially released a six-month-old girl by handing her over to a neighbour from a balcony.

“Children were held hostage in the basement of his house. Batham fired six shots from inside the building,” Inspector General of Police, Kanpur Range, Mohit Agarwal, told media.

"Realising that he had firing capabilities and taking cognizance of his bomb-threat, the senior police officials decided to ambush him," said Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Om Prakash Singh.

It is indicated that he was engaged in a dialogue and while he was distracted, the attack took place. "We tried entering the house...Subhash was killed during the encounter,” Singh said, who supervised this high-voltage crime thriller on the last day of his service.

Additional chief secretary Home, Avanish Awasthi said, “We had even requested the Centre to send the National Security Guard. The request was accepted and the NSG team was on the way. Meanwhile, our cops managed to enter the house, kill him and set the children free.”

The kids were sent for a medical check-up and handed over to the families.

"Nobody in the village slept on Thursday night as the police tried to convince Batham to surrender for several hours. They called the special forces when persuasion failed," locals said.

"He believed that locals were responsible for his arrest in the murder case and he wanted to take revenge," a local resident said.

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