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Jharkhand actress' murder: Police arrest brother of victim's husband

IANS | December 30, 2022 04:52 PM

KOLKATA: The West Bengal Police probing the murder of Jharkhand-based actress and YouTuber Riya Kumari have arrested Sandeep Kumar, the younger brother of the victim's husband, Prakash Kumar, who was arrested a day before.

Riya was shot dead on Wednesday during an alleged highway robbery bid in West Bengal's Howrah district. Prakash Kumar, who is a film producer, was arrested on Thursday after Riya's family members filed a complaint against Kumar and his brothers.

Sandeep Kumar was presented before a lower court in Howrah district on Friday, with the public prosecutor demanding police custody for him.

State police sources said that like Prakash Kumar, his younger brother was also arrested on the basis of an FIR filed by the victim's brother, Ajay Rana, at the Bagnan police station in Howrah district on Wednesday.

Besides Prakash and Sandeep, the third person named in the FIR is Prakash's first wife Sarada Devi. The police are also investigating her role in the matter and a team from West Bengal has already left for Ranchi, where the victim and her husband lived.

The investigating officers are also looking into a possible financial motive behind the murder. The police have come to know that Kumar has loans in the market to the tune of around Rs 30 lakh. On the other hand, the deceased actress had a joint life insurance policy along with her three-year-old daughter, wherein the nominee is Kumar. The cops are trying to join the dots to find out if there was a financial angle behind Riya's murder.

Meanwhile, the police have also found a lot of inconsistencies in the statements made by Prakash.

As per Kumar's statement, the murder took place at around 6 a.m. on Wednesday when they were travelling from Ranchi to Kolkata. He had reportedly stopped his car near the Mahishrekha bridge in Bagnan to answer nature's call.

As per his version, three miscreants attacked them after he stopped the car with the intention to rob them. But when they resisted, one of them shot Riya from point-blank range, causing her death.

"As per Kumar, three unknown miscreants shot Riya when they both tried to resist them. But the police found the shell of the cartridge from inside the car they were travelling in. Had the miscreants opened fire when the couple tried to resist them, both of them should have been outside their vehicle. So why was the shell found from inside the car, " asked a state police official, who did not wish to be named.

Secondly, according to the official, had there been a resistance, the natural instinct of the miscreants would have been to shoot Kumar first rather than his wife.

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