- Subhash Batham called the children home on pretext of daughter's birthday
- Once inside, he held them hostage at gunpoint, shot at cops from terrace
- UP Police are trying to get the hostages released through negotiations
A murder accused out on bail, who held his wife, his one-year-old daughter and over 20 children hostage in his house at a village in West Uttar Pradesh's Farrukhabad district, has been killed by the police, ending the 10-hour long stand off. All 23 children have been rescued.
The police had tried negotiating with the man -- identified as Subhash Batham -- to rescue them, but to no avail.
One of the children, a one-year-old infant, was released late on Thursday night, much before the man was killed.
According to police, the murder accused invited some children from the village to his house on the pretext of celebrating his daughter's birthday.
However, once they were inside, he held everybody -- including his own wife and daughter -- at gunpoint.
When their children did not return after a while, some of his neighbours knocked at his door. They were forced to retreat and alert the police when Subhash Batham began shooting at them.
Police said that when they rushed a PCR van to his house, Subhash Batham began shooting at it from the terrace. He even threw a crude bomb at them.
Commandos of the Anti-Terrorism Squad and a police team led by the Kanpur Zone Inspector General were subsequently deployed at the spot.
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh told reporters that the police was being cautious to ensure that the hostages are not harmed.
"Subhash Batham invited 21 children from the neighbourhood on the pretext of celebrating his daughter's birthday, then held them hostage in the basement. For 8-hours the DM and SSP tried negotiating with the accused using telephones and mobiles," Mr Singh said.
"Our main strategy was to try and fulfill his demands and keeping in mind the well-being of the children we sent biscuits for them," he added.
"On learning that he had firing capabilities and after his bomb-threats, all senior police officials decided to attack him. We tried entering the house when Subhash was killed during the encounter," Mr Singh said.
Subhash Batham, who police claim could be mentally disturbed, was also heard hollering that he was innocent of the crime he has been accused of.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had called a high-level meeting to find a resolution to the issue.
(With inputs from IANS)