The wife of an Uttar Pradesh man, who had taken more than 20 children hostage, has died after being thrashed by locals, news agency ANI reported.
"The woman has succumbed to injuries, we are waiting for post-mortem report, further details on cause of death will only come out after the report," ANI quoted IG Kanpur Range Mohit Agarwal as saying. She was admitted to a local hospital in critical condition.
The hostage-taker, Subhash Batham, was shot dead by the Uttar Pradesh Police in the rescue operation on Thursday night. He invited the children to his daughter's birthday party at Kasaria village in the afternoon and locked them up.
The hostage crisis continued for about eight hours. "The accused was killed and there were about 23 children who were rescued safely," Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi told reporters at a hurriedly called press conference at 1.20 am on Friday.
Batham had initially released a six-month-old girl by handing her over to his neighbour from a balcony.
Eyewitnesses said a restive crowd gathered outside the house where the children were kept with some women wailing and praying for their safe release. The crowd broke open the door of the house to rescue the children, they said.
The accused opened fire, injuring three policemen and a villager. The police then retaliated killing Batham on the spot.
Police said Batham had sent out a typed complaint addressed to the district magistrate that alleged that he had been denied a house and a toilet under the Central housing scheme for poor. His letter indicated that he had planned the act well in advance, said the police.