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Foul Play Unfolds In Actress Riya Kumari’s Death; Husband Arrested

Jharkhand actress, Riya Kumari, was shot dead in an alleged highway robbery attempt. But further police investigation suggests foul play.

Trigger warning: mention of domestic violence 

As reported by several media outlets, a 32-year old actress from Jharkhand, Riya Kumari was shot dead in an alleged robbery attempt in the early hours of Wednesday.

She was travelling with her husband, Prakash Kumar, and their 2-year old daughter, from Ranchi to Kolkata when the incident occurred on NH-16 in Howrah, West Bengal. The following day, Prakash was arrested by the police following a formal complaint by Riya’s family.

Prakash is a film producer, while Kumari was a popular actress in a regional language of Jharkhand, Khortha. She was known by her stage name, Isha Alia.

The incident

According to a report, Prakash Kumar, who was driving, had stepped out of his car to take a toilet break, when they were attacked by 3 armed goons. Their robbery went wrong when Riya tried to interfere, and save her husband. She was shot point-blank near her right ear.

The incident happened near the Mahishrekha bridge, situated in Rajapur area of Bagnan on the National Highway 16. Prakash narrated how he drove 3kms before he could seek help from the residents of Pirtala, who in turn called the police.

The injured Riya was rushed to the Ulluberia Hospital, where she was declared dead-upon-arrival. The same source informs that the primary findings of the post-mortem confirm the actor’s death by the bullet shot

Swati Bangaliana, the SP of Howrah (rural), stated that the husband alleged that Riya was shot point-blank by the goons. She also announced that an investigation has been launched. Their car has been seized, and the police team is looking for CCTV footages. The film-producer’s statement was being examined, as well. 

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But not all was well.

After a prolonged interrogation on Wednesday night, the police claims that they had found disparities in Prakash’s statements. On the other hand, the girl’s family filed a formal complaint against him. Both clubbed together led police to arrest Kumar, the following day.

Why was a complaint lodged by Riya’s family against Prakash?

A leading Bengali news outlet reveals that Riya’s family alleges that Prakash has been physically and mentally abusing Riya in their marriage. The former was not happy with the Riya’s profession, and the idea that she was earning. The family also claimed that Prakash used to question her character, accuse her of infidelity, and take away all her money. 

This obviously led to a very unhappy commitment for the couple. The actor’s family believes that this was not an accidental death, but a well-planned murder by her husband— as per the same source.

The police, too, believe it to be too coincidental for the goons to have attacked them when Kumar had stopped the car at the place. Reporting that such cases of highway robbery are very rare in the state, a police official detailed out their doubts, and the discrepancies in the husband’s statements that led them to hold him as the primary suspect.

As expected, the incident was turned political when Dilip Ghosh, BJP’s national vice-president attacked the TMC government for the declining state of law and orders in West Bengal. Meanwhile, Minister Firhad Hakim promised a strict punishment for the guilty. 

Prakash Kumar, who also has other cases of assault to his name, was to be presented before court on Thursday, itself. 

This is an ongoing case. The article will be updated as and when a development is reported.

Image source: Twitter, edited on CanvaPro

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Akankha Basu Roy

The author is a Gen-Z kid who resorts to writing to vent out about the problematic ways of the world. Having majored in Theatre, English, and Psychology, I take a guilty pleasure in complex read more...

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