Locals surrounding the house where the murder accused held 23 children. (Photo Credit: Twitter/ANI)
Local residents of Farrukhabad village, where a murder accused held hostage 23 children on Thursday night, said that the entire incident was planned by Subhash Batham in a failed bid to pressurise authorities drop cases against him. After hours of drama, the episode ended with police shooting him down and a mob lynching his wife.
Villagers said the hostage-taking appeared to have been planned. Batham, who was out on bail for a year and a half in a 2001 murder case, had invited the children for his daughter's birthday party. As local people and policemen laid siege to the house in Kasaria village, Batham initially demanded the "withdrawal" of criminal cases against him. His wife Ruby Katheriya allegedly asked for Rs 1 crore for each child, if the villagers wanted them released.
During the siege, Batham also sent out a letter addressed to the district magistrate, local people said. In the letter, he reportedly complained that he was not allowed to make use of government schemes for housing and building toilets at home. He also alleged that he was being troubled by the Special Operation Group of police.
In 2001, he had allegedly stabbed another villager, Meghnad, to death in a dispute over a drain. He was also accused in three robbery cases. According to local people, Batham had sold off his four-bigha piece of land and had no regular income.
Farrukhabad Hostage-Taker's Wife Stoned To Death
The wife of the hostage-taker, who held 23 children hostage at a fake birthday party, was reportedly stoned to death by neighbours. After her husband was shot down by police, locals caught her and assaulted brutally. The woman was hit by bricks and stones by the villagers. She suffered serious injuries and was rushed to hospital in a critical situation. She died during the treatment.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an award of Rs 10 lakh for the UP Police team that successfully carried out the rescue operation. "All personnel who took part in the operation will be given a certificate of appreciation," said UP Additional Chief Secretary Awanish K Awasthi.