LUCKNOW: The nine-hour hostage drama in Karthia village under Mohammadabad police station area in Farrukhabad district culminated in the safe release of 23 children held captive by Subhash Batham, a murder accused. Batham was killed by the cops during the rescue operation.
After the release of the children, when the police teams left the site, Batham’s wife was allegedly attacked by villagers. As per sources, she was dragged out of the house, beaten up and assaulted with stones by the neighbours. Later, she succumbed to injuries in hospital. The sources claimed that Batham conducted the hostage drama with the assistance of his wife.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath, who had convened a high-level emergency meeting on Thursday night and directed senior cops to ensure the safe release of the children at any cost, had been monitoring the situation personally till they were rescued.
After the rescue operation, the CM announced an award of Rs 10 lakh for the UP Police team that successfully carried out the operation.
"All personnel who took part in operation will be given a certificate of appreciation," said UP Additional Chief Secretary Awanish K Awasthi.
To ensure the safe rescue of all the children held captive by Batham, besides UP police and a commando team of the UP Anti-Terror Squad (ATS), a team of NSG (National Security Guard) commandos was also deployed at the site of the incident. It was ferried through a special aircraft to Farrukhabad, some 200 km from state capital Lucknow.
The children, who were taken hostage by the culprit in the basement of his house were in the age group of five to seven years. They spent almost nine hours in the house of horrors as distraught and wailing parents awaited their rescue with bated breath.
Batham, accused of killing his own uncle Meghnath in 2001, had been out on bail after ten years in prison. He had amassed arms and hand grenades in his house.
Batham was arrested four months ago on charges of theft and sent to jail. He was released on bail around two months ago and since then he had been planning the hostage drama, said sources.
Villagers said Batham lured the children by offering them toffees on the pretext of his one-year-old daughter Gauri’s birthday. He then herded the children into a room and locked them up.
When the children did not return till late in the evening, the parents asked him to let them go but he refused and started firing from inside his house.
Realising that the children had been taken hostage, villagers contacted the ‘Dial 112’ helpline. The cops, on reaching the spot, asked the captor to release the children but he refused to budge and opened fire, injuring two of them and a villager.
The entire local police station, led by Station House Officer Rakesh Kumar, then reached the spot to rescue the children. Senior police and district administration officers including the DM and SSP also arrived at the scene and tried to convince the captor to free the children.
Locals claimed that the captor was shouting that he was framed in a criminal case and wanted the cops to produce the informer who had tipped them off about him.
Seven hours after taking the children hostage, he released a six-month-old girl as a special team and other officials engaged with him. Police said Batham handed over the girl to his neighbour from a balcony.
Around 1 am on Friday, locals laid siege to Batham's house and broke the front door. As the police entered his house, they fired on Batham in self-defence.
Police confirmed Batham's death at around 1.30 am.
Batham had earlier sent a letter addressed to the local district magistrate. In the letter, he had complained about the lack of toilet facilities in his house and alleged that he had been denied government housing.