New Delhi: As many as 20 children and a few women were held hostage at a house in Farukkhabad, Uttar Pradesh by a man allegedly accused in a murder case, the police said on Thursday. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called a high-level meeting with the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Home), DGP, ADG Law & Order to take stock of the incident.

The suspect, identified as Subhash Batham, had reportedly kidnapped the children on the pretext of a birthday party. He has previously been convicted in a murder case.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Additional Director-General Law & Order PV Ramashatry said, “The man had been sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case and he was out on a bail. He had called the children on the pretext of a birthday party and held them hostage. He opened fire on villagers. DM, SSP and police force are present near his house.”

 

The incident came to light after a few locals who tried to open the door to release the children reported firing started by Batham from inside the house. According to reports, one person was injured in the leg. Other eyewitnesses claimed that he even hurled a low-intensity bomb from the window.

Senior police officers and Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) commandos from Lucknow arrived at the spot and rescue operation is being conducted. Speaking to reporters, DGP OP Singh said that the police were acting with caution to ensure the safety of the hostages as there has been a crossfire between cops and the suspect.