Police shot dead a man holding around 20 women and children hostage at his house in northern India after a 10-hour standoff, state officials said yesterday. The hostages who were held at gunpoint were safe, principal secretary home Awanish Kumar Awasthi said after the raid at the house in a village in Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh state. The hostage taker was serving a life sentence for murder and was out on parole, he added. Two policemen and a villager were injured in the rescue operation. After the siege, a group of incensed villagers stormed the house where the children had been kept and attacked the hostage-taker’s wife, Awasthi said.