A youth, who was armed with hand grenades and pistol, held around 24 children hostage at a village in Uttar Pradesh's Farrukhabad district, about 250 kilometres from here, on Thursday.
The youth, who lured the children to his house at Karathia village in the district on the pretext of celebrating his one-year-old daughter, fired shots and threw a grenade at the cops, who tried to barge into the house to rescue the children.
Police sources here said that the youth, identified as Subhash Batham, who was resident of the same village, had been arrested on charges of theft and was released on bail a month back.
Sources said that the station in-charge of the local police station Rakesh Kumar and two other cops were injured, when the youth threw grenade on them, when they tried to enter the house.
A village resident was also injured, when he was fired at by the youth. ''He has a gun and is firing from inside,'' said a police official in Farrukhabad.
UP police chief O.P.Singh said that the commandos of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) were being rushed to the spot to carry out rescue operations.
''Our first priority is to ensure safety of the children....we are trying to talk to the youth through some acquaintance of his,'' Singh said.
Sources said that the children, who had been held hostage, were in between four and eight years of age.