Kolkata: The West Bengal Police probing the murder of Jharkhand-based actress and YouTuber Riya Kumari have found during their probe that the husband of the deceased, Prakash Kumar, and his younger brother, Sandeep Kumar, had taken shooting training. The Kumar brothers are presently in police custody for their alleged role in the murder of Riya.
This was revealed to the police by Prakash’s father, Dhaneshwar Ram, who rushed to Kolkata from Jharkhand on receiving information of the arrest of his two sons.
“Dhaneshwar Ram informed that all three of his sons are trained in shooting. Although Prakash did not pursue the hobby and instead concentrated on film production, Sandeep still continues with his hobby. He also informed that his third son, Akash Kumar, is an officer with the Indian Army and is currently posted in Rajasthan. The father said that there are licenced firearms at Prakash’s residence in Ranchi,” said a state police officer refusing to be named.
Riya was shot dead on Wednesday during an alleged highway robbery bid in West Bengal’s Howrah district. Prakash, who is a film producer, was arrested on Thursday after Riya’s family members filed a complaint against Kumar and his brothers. Sandeep was arrested on Friday.
Meanwhile, the police are searching for the firearm that was used to kill Riya. The state police have also contacted their counterparts in Jharkhand for getting the call details and tower locations of Prakash and Sandeep for the last 15 days.
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 police have 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.