‘Darshan confessed to giving ₹30 lakh to dispose Renukaswamy’s body,’ claims police

Karnataka government is ready to give consent if the police feels the need to reopen the suicide that took place at Darshan's farmhouse.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 20, 2024 | 9:22 AM Updated Jun 20, 2024 | 9:22 AM

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

Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa, who has been arrested in the Renukaswamy murder case, has confessed to giving ₹30 lakh to Pradosh – another accused in the case – to ensure that “his name does not come out anywhere,” police claimed on Wednesday, 20 June.

The amount has been recovered from Pradosh’s residence, police sources said.

State Home Minister said the government would give its consent if the police feels the need to reopen the case of death by suicide of a man who was working at Darshan’s farmhouse at Anekal in Bengaluru. Meanwhile, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said he was not under any pressure from any minister or MLA to shield the actor. The CM also said that he will never entertain such requests.

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Evidence collected by cops so far

“Darshan, who is accused number 2 (A2) in the case, has in his voluntary statement to police said that he had given ₹30 lakh to Pradosh (A14) to dispose of the body, and for the expenditure that would cost…for persons to carry out this task, and to ensure that his name doesn’t come out anywhere,” a police official said.

A total 17 people, including Darshan and his friend Pavithra Gowda, are accused in the murder case. According to police sources, Renukaswamy, a fan of the actor, had sent obscene messages to Gowda, which enraged Darshan, allegedly leading to his murder. Renukaswamy’s body was found near a storm-water drain next to an apartment in Sumanahalli on 9 June.

“From the spot of the crime, things such as lathi and wooden logs used for the alleged assault have been recovered along with water bottle, blood stains and material evidence, and DVR containing the CCTV footage,” the official said adding that, “blood stains were also found on the vehicle allegedly used for disposing of the body.”

According to the autopsy report, Renukaswamy’s death was caused due to shock and haemorrhage as a result of multiple blunt injuries he sustained. “Viscera samples have been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for further analysis,” he said.

According to sources, one of the accused – Raghavendra – who is part of Darshan’s fan club in Chitradurga, had brought Renukaswamy to a shed in RR Nagar in Bengaluru on the pretext that Darshan wanted to meet him. It was in this shed that he was allegedly tortured and killed in. The investigation team is believed to have gathered enough evidence, including CCTV footage, which could establish that Darshan was present during the alleged assault on Renukaswamy, leading to his death, sources said.

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Suicide at Darshan’s house 

According to the police, Sridhar S died by suicide in April this year, and in a note and also in a video he said that he is responsible for his own death and that no one should be held accountable for it. However, police are probing if there is any connection between the death of Sridhar and the Renukaswamy murder case.

Sridhar, who worked at a farmhouse of Durga Construction, which allegedly belongs to Darshan, also said he had decided to take the extreme step because of loneliness in life, police said, adding that the deceased person was unmarried.

“If that case (suicide) is related to this one (Darshan’s involvement in the murder of Renukaswamy), the police team will look into it. If the police team feel they need to further investigate Darshan in this case, then it will write to us (Home Department) and we will give our approval,” Parameshwara said.

He added it was natural for anyone to doubt whether Sridhar had indeed died by suicide after the Renukaswamy murder case.

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What the CM said

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he was not under pressure from any minister or MLA to shield leading Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa in a murder case.

“There is a rumour doing rounds that there was pressure on me, which is not true. There is no pressure. Neither from a minister nor any MLA (to favour Darshan). These are all far from the truth,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here

He said, “Even if someone puts pressure on me, I will not entertain their requests. We have given free hand to the police and I have told them to take action as per law.”

On changing the Special Public Prosecutor appointed by the government for the trial in the case, the Chief Minister said he has no such information. “There is no proposal in the first place (to change the SPP).”

(Edited by Neena with PTI inputs)

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