Lucknow, Jan 31: Even as the Uttar Pradesh police expressed a sigh of relief after rescue of 23 children in the Farrukhabad hostage drama, which lasted for 11 hours on Thursday, but preliminary investigation revealed that the incident was not a random act but was planned in advance by the accused Subhash Batham.
Parents of the children, who were taken hostage by a murder accused at a village under Mohammababad police station area in Farrukhabad, had a harrowing time as the accused unleashed a fresh criminal activity after being bailed for another. Batham and his wife Ruby were killed in the incident. While the man was gunned down by police, his wife met with a more painful death after the villagers stoned her to death. On being asked for his demands, the accused had handed over a letter in which he had alleged that he was being denied a free toilet under Swatch Bharat Mission and a house under PM Awas Yojna by the village head and even senior officials were not paying any heed to his request.
The letter was addressed to the District Magistrate and elaborated on how Batham was being denied toilet and house under government schemes and blamed the gram pradhan for such act. On his demand, the villagers also gave him biscuits and cigarettes but still he refused to release the children. The authorities also assured him to give a house and toilet too. The accused also said that he was wrongly framed in the criminal case. He was on bail in connection with a murder of one Meghnad Batham of the village in 2001. He was convicted by the lower court but was given bail as the case is pending in the High Court. Recently, he ran away from the police station, after being charged with a theft case.
The invitations for the birthday celebrations had been sent a couple of days before the incident. The locals raised questions as it was a second invite in less than a year. However, the locals without raising much doubt over it sent their kids to the house of Batham at around 1400 hrs on Thursday. The couple then locked up the children inside the house, while Subhash geared up with firearms and even carried a grenade which he later threw on the police. Parents of the 23 kids realizing that their kids have not returned home from the birthday party, reached the accused's house which they found locked up from inside. (UNI)