Renukaswamy murder case: Bengaluru court extends police custody of actor Darshan, three others

Actor Darshan, his friend and actor Pavithra Gowda, and his close associates were arrested on 12 June for the murder of the 33-year-old fan on 8 June.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 20, 2024 | 8:49 PM Updated Jun 20, 2024 | 8:49 PM

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

A Bengaluru court on Thursday, 20 June, extended police custody of actor Darshan Thoogudeepa and three other accused in the Renukaswamy murder case by two days.

Thirteen other accused, including the actor’s friend Pavithra Gowda, were remanded to 14 days’ judicial custody. A total of 17 people are accused in the murder case.

According to police sources, Renukaswamy, a fan of Darshan, had allegedly sent some obscene messages to Gowda on social media, which infuriated the 47-year-old actor, according to police sources.

His body was found near a stormwater drain next to an apartment in Sumanahalli on 9 June.

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

Renukaswamy’s murder

Actor Darshan, popularly known as ‘Challenging Star’, Gowda, and his close associates were arrested on 12 June for the murder of the 33-year-old fan on 8 June.

Renukaswamy’s body with multiple injury marks was found near a stormwater drain next to an apartment in Sumanahalli on 9 June. A resident of the district headquarters town of Chitradurga, Renukaswamy worked with a pharmacy company.

He allegedly commented on the social media account of Gowda, 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.

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

Also Read: ‘Heinous crime committed in a horrific manner’: Bengaluru Police Commissioner

CCTV footage as evidence

The police team probing the murder case had stumbled upon CCTV footage showing the suspected abduction of the victim by some associates of Darshan in Chitradurga, sources said on 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 Renukaswamy, a fan of Darshan, was “lured” to go with his abductors.

The footage extracted on 8 June showed the car zooming past the highway. Police believed that Renukaswamy was inside the car. “He was then driven straight to Bengaluru where he was tortured to death,” a police official said.

The police team probing the murder case had also served a notice to Kannada actor Chikkanna on Monday, 17 June to appear for questioning.

Also Read: Darshan arrest case: No soft corner for anyone, says Karnataka home minister

More horrific details

Police have already recovered ₹30 lakh as the proceeds of the crime, which Darshan had given to his aides to admit that they committed the murder for monetary gain.

The actor has also 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.

More horrifying details have emerged from the investigation into murder case.

Investigation has revealed that Darshan and his gang branded Renukaswamy with a hot metal and also subjected him to an electric shock.

“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,” a police 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.

Also Read: Renukaswamy murder case: Kannada actors say police should make probe transparent

‘Not under any pressure to shield actor’

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.

“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 Shauqueen Mizaj, with PTI inputs)

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