KATHARIYA VILLAGE (FARRUKHABAD): Subhash Batham, a murder convict who held a fake birthday party for his daughter in UPs Farrukhabad and then held 25 children who were his “guests” hostage for several hours, was shot dead by police early on Friday morning. His wife, Ruby, who was allegedly an accomplice to the act, died in a hospital soon after after angry local residents pelted her with stones, lynching her. Police on Friday filed an FIR against 300 unknown people under Section 302 (murder).
Police, forensic teams and the bomb disposal squad (Moradabad) claimed they had recovered 145 crude bombs, including a cylinder bomb and a can bomb, along with wire, battery, tape, sutali (thread) that they said were used in a bomb hurled by Batham during the night, injuring two constables.
Twenty live cartridges, 11 used cartridges of a country made pistol and a .315 bore rifle were recovered from his house, police said, along with the used cartridge of an AK-47. Some of the children who had been held hostage had, however, told TOI that they saw only a katta and another country made rifle with Batham.
Police said Batham — who never attended school — acquired his “bomb-making skills” during a 12-year stint in jail after he was convicted of murder. The basement in which he held the children hostage doubled up as his laboratory where he painstakingly readied the crude bombs, cops added, suggesting he had been planning his act for a long time.
But as far as his motives are concerned, there are different theories — anger at the residents for boycotting him for a long time for marrying a Dalit woman, allegedly being left out of government schemes, and enmity against those who testified against him in court in the murder case.
According to police, Batham had claimed on the night of the incident that the gram pradhan of Kathariya village and a local MLA had falsely implicated him in his uncles murder due to which he had ended up wasting his youth in prison. The gram pradhan, Harvir Singh, told TOI that he indeed testified in court against Batham and thats why the man held enmity against him. “Batham murdered his uncle in 2001 after he had caught him stealing valuables from a neighbours house and scolded him. I was a witness in the case.”
Commenting on a letter that Batham had written to authorities — demanding a house and toilet under government schemes — and which he handed to police on Thursday night, the gram pradhan said his demands were baseless. “He had written the letter for a house under the PM Awas Yojana and a toilet under the Swachh Bharat Mission years ago.” The real motive, he insisted, was revenge against him and village residents.
Bhojpur MLA Nagendra Singh — who was also the target of Bathams fury — said that he didnt know the man but had visited the spot to defuse the situation. “He wanted revenge as he was boycotted by the community for marrying a Dalit woman four years ago,” he said.
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