Actor Darshan arrest: CCTV footage shows suspected abduction of murder victim Renukaswamy

Renukaswamy allegedly commented on the social media account of Pavithra Gowda - close friend of Darshan and small-time actor.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 13, 2024 | 5:30 PM Updated Jun 13, 2024 | 7:34 PM

Cops say Darshan confessed to giving money to dispose of the body

The police team probing the Renukaswamy murder case has stumbled upon CCTV footage showing the suspected abduction of the victim by some associates of Kannada film star Darshan Thoogudeepa in Chitradurga, sources said on Thursday, 13 June.

The footage showed a man, believed to be Renukaswamy, chatting with someone inside the car and then getting into the vehicle, police sources said. Police suspect that the 34-year-old pharmacy worker, a fan of Darshan, was “lured” to go with his abductors.

“He was then driven straight to Bengaluru where he was tortured to death,” a police official said.

The 47-year-old actor, his close friend Pavithra Gowda and his associates have been arrested for the murder of Renukaswamy, whose body was found near a storm-water drain with multiple injury marks on 9 June.

Renukaswamy, a resident of the district headquarters town of Chitradurga, allegedly commented on the social media account of Pavithra Gowda, a close friend of Darshan and small-time actor, accusing her of creating a rift between the actor and his wife. He also allegedly used “indecent language” and posted offensive messages, according to police sources.

Three more arrested

Three people, including the close aide of Darshan, were arrested by the police in connection with the Renukaswamy murder case.

According to police sources, Darshan’s aide Nagaraj was looking after all the dealings of the actor. He was also taking care of Darshan’s farmhouse in Mysuru.

Nagaraj was on the run ever since police arrested Darshan, his friend and actress Pavithra Gowda and 11 other henchmen.

However, sources did not divulge details about the role of the second person, his co-star Pradosh, in the murder.

Pradosh had appeared in minor roles in some movies where Darshan was the lead actor.

Another henchman identified as Ravi surrendered before the Deputy Superintendent of Police on Thursday evening.

He is a resident of Kurubarahatti in Chitradurga and has been at large ever since the murder came to light.

So far 16 people have been arrested including Darshan and Pavithra.

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Police given free hand: Home Minister

Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara had on Wednesday said that the police were given a free hand and action would be taken per the law against Darshan Thoogudeepa and his associates. He said the police will probe and decide whether Darshan is a “habitual offender,” adding that they will accordingly invoke legal sections and take action.

Parameshwara said: “If Renukaswamy had posted something on social media about his female friend, he could have given a complaint, and police would have acted immediately. The information is, he (Renukaswamy) was brought (to Bengaluru from Chitradurga), beaten and has been killed, it could have been avoided.”

“Now the incident has happened, a life has gone, and no one can do anything. But whatever action needs to be taken against the culprits in accordance with law, the police will do it,” he added.

To a question that Darshan had through influential politicians attempted to save himself, the minister said, as far as he knows, no one has tried to influence him, and action will be taken in the case, in accordance with the law.

Police reveal shocking details

Renukaswamy hailed from Lakshmi Venkateshwara Layout in Chitradurga and worked with a pharmacy company.

“It was Pavithra who instigated Darshan to punish Renukaswamy. Accordingly, the plan was hatched,” they said.

“Darshan engaged the Chitradurga unit of Darshan Fan Club Convenor Raghavendra alias Raghu, who obtained all information about Renukaswamy.”

Renukaswamy’s wife Sahana said Raghavendra picked up her husband on Friday night from near their house.

The victim was abducted and taken to a shed in the Kamakshipalya area in Bengaluru, the sources said.

“Darshan beat up Renukaswamy with a belt. After he fell unconscious, his accomplices thrashed him with sticks. Further, they threw him against a wall, which proved fatal,” they said adding there were multiple bone fractures all over his body.

After he died, his body was dumped in a stormwater drain.

A food delivery boy who noticed dogs eating a human body alerted the police.

When the police were working on the case, two accused approached Kamakshipalya police and “confessed” to having killed Renukaswamy over a financial dispute.

As the investigation progressed, police found out about Darshan and Pavithra’s involvement.

(Edited by Neena with PTI inputs)

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