A POLICE operation was on till late Thursday night to rescue 20 children held hostage at a house at Karthiya village near Farrukhabad in Fatehgarh district of Uttar Pradesh allegedly by a murder convict who is out on bail. Police said Subhash Batham, 38, had invited the children, between the ages of three and 10, home for his daughter’s birthday and then held them at gunpoint.
Batham’s wife Ruby and his daughter are also in the house. He has not made any demands so far to release the children, said police.
Batham allegedly fired from inside to thwart attempts by both the parents of the children and police to approach the house, leaving one person injured. Two police personnel were hurt when stones were pelted at them. Police said Batham also threw a crude bomb at people gathered outside.
“We are making all efforts to ensure the children are rescued safely,” said Additional Director General, Law and Order, P V Ramasastry. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is monitoring the situation, and a team of the state Anti-Terrorism Squad has been dispatched to Fatehgarh. Senior police officers, including Inspector General, Kanpur Range, Mohit Agarwal, are at the spot.
Batham has four cases against him, including murder. All four FIRs were filed at the Mohammdabad Police Station in 2001.
Additional Superintendent of Police, Fatehgarh, Tribhuwan Singh said, he had been convicted for murder but had got bail from the high court. He said they would have to check records to determine since when Batham had been on bail.
Karthiya village pradhan Shashi’s husband Harbeer Singh said, “Around two months back, Subhash was arrested in a robbery case. He came out of jail a month ago.”
Singh said that on Thursday Batham invited the children home, saying he was celebrating his daughter’s birthday. When the children didn’t return, the parents came to get them back, but he didn’t open the door. “When parents banged on the door, Subhash started abusing them and opened fire.”
One of the residents informed the police control room.
Singh said, “Subhash fired at Anupam, a local, and he suffered a injury in his right leg. He also threw a crude bomb from inside.”
He added that Subhash demanded to talk to local BJP MLA Nagendra Singh Rathore. But when the MLA came, “he fired from inside”. The MLA escaped unhurt.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines