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February 25, 2020
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Policemen near the house where several children are held hostage in Uttar Pradesh’s Farrukhabad district on January 30, 2020. Photo: Special Arrangement  

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An armed man — a murder convict — took them hostage after inviting them for a birthday party at Kasaria village in U.P.’s Farrukhabad district.

Over 20 children, aged between six months and 15 years, were rescued after an armed man, a murder convict who took them hostage after inviting them for a birthday party at his house in a village at Farrukhabad, was killed on January 30 night, police said.The hostage drama began at Kasaria village in the afternoon. Hours later, the accused released a six-month-old girl by handing her over to his neighbour from a balcony, they said.The suspect Subhash Batham fired from inside the house on those who tried to speak to him, police said, adding that a man suffered a bullet injury.The man who had held the children hostage was killed, Additional Chief Secretary Avanish Awasthi told PTI.Police said Batham handed over the girl to his neighbour from a balcony.The motive of the accused was not known immediately.Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath monitored the situation in Farrukhabad, which is nearly 200 km from State capital Lucknow.Television channels have appealed to Batham to contact them in case he wanted to share his demands with the government or authorities.“We are ensuring the safe rescue of the children and if needed, the NSG will also be called for the operation,” the DGP said earlier.He said that commando units have been directed to reach the village.U.P. Director-General of Police O.P. Singh said Batham was a convicted criminal in a murder case and probably out on parole.Inspector General of Police, Kanpur Range, Mohit Agarwal, said, “The man called the children for a birthday party and held them hostage in the basement of the house. He fired six shots from inside the building.”Batham wanted to talk to the local MLA, but he refused to speak to the leader when he arrived, Mr. Agarwal said.Earlier, ADGP Law and Order P.V Ramasastry said nothing “adverse” was noticed about the suspect’s mental state.  Quick Response Team and Special Operations Group are on the spot while a team of the U.P. ATS SPOT (Special Police Operations Team) is on the way for the rescue operation, Mr. Ramasastry said.(With PTI inputs)

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