Renukaswamy murder case: Notice served to actor Chikkanna; top Kannada actors say police should make probe transparent

The police have already arrested 19 people including leading Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa and his friend Pavithra Gowda for the murder of Renukaswamy.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 17, 2024 | 5:15 PM Updated Jun 17, 2024 | 8:59 PM

Top Kannada actors want police to make probe transparent

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

The police have already arrested 19 people including leading Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa and his friend Pavithra Gowda for the murder of Renukaswamy.

It was decided to question the 37-year-old Chikkanna, who appears primarily in comic roles, as he was allegedly with Darshan on 8 June when the crime was allegedly committed, police sources said. “It’s only for questioning as of now. We want to know whether he (Chikkanna) knew about the case and the information he has,” a source told PTI.

Meanwhile, after almost a week since Darshan and his associates were arrested, the big stars of Kannada film industry spoke about actor Darshan’s alleged involvement in a murder.

Related: Police seize car used by actor Darshan’s gang to abduct murder victim

Top Kannada actors seek justice for victim

The Kannada film fraternity’s top stars, actors Upendra and Kiccha Sudeep voiced their opinions on the murder case of Renukaswamy, in which Darshan and his actress friend Pavithra Gowda were arrested on 12 June. Both stressed that the victim and his family should get their due justice.

Upendra posted on his ‘X’ account that when a public figure is caught in such a brutal case, all videos, documents and proof should be made public. Stressing that not only Karnataka but the whole of India is watching, Upendra said he is awaiting impartial decision and justice in the trial of this high-profile case.

“There is some anxiety and suspicion about how the case is being handled among Renukaswamy’s family, people, media as well as Darshan fans. Speculations are rife. So, the video footage of the trial and all the details of the witnesses should be shared by the police with the families of the persons concerned. This should, in fact, become a law,” he wrote.

According to him, in the past, the police used to write and record trials, now technology has advanced so much that everything can be video recorded and live-streamed, so this kind of legal reform should be prioritised.

“Specially, in case of a case involving a public figure, the police should regularly make public the video footage of the trial of the case and all the details of the witnesses. The trial of a public figure should be held in public with full transparency. This way, tampering with evidence, interference by influential people and corruption will be exposed,” he wrote further on ‘X’.

Upendra insisted that this is the only way that Renukaswamy’s family, people, media and Darshan fans will have more respect for the police.

Meanwhile, interacting with reporters, Sudeep said that people only know what the media is showing to them as they are not going to the police station to get the information. He also insisted that Renukaswamy, who died on the streets, deserves justice. “His wife deserves justice. His unborn child deserves justice. Above all, for everyone to have faith in it, justice should prevail in this case,” he said.

When reminded by a reporter that he used to be a friend of Darshan, Sudeep said friendship or relationship is different from wanting justice. Stating that he does not have the habit of speaking ill of someone, he said all he wanted was that the film industry should not get a bad name.

Related: Want justice for Renukaswamy’s family, his unborn child: Kiccha Sudeep on case involving actor Darshan

“Kannada film industry has reached where it is now due to the hard work of several people. It has a long history. It is wrong that because of a person this industry is getting a bad name. So, our intention is to see that justice is done in this case,” he added.

He also urged people to draw a conclusion based on facts rather than the opinions of celebrities.

“Being a celebrity does not mean we are Gods, don’t treat us like that. Don’t ask me what steps the film industry should take. Watch the news and draw your own conclusions. And learn what you should not do in your life,” he added.

Darshan, Gowda and his 17 aides were arrested on charges of murdering Renukaswamy from Chitradurga on 8 June for allegedly sending obscene messages to Gowda.

Renukaswamy murder case

Renukaswamy, a resident of Chitradurga, allegedly commented on the social media account of Gowda, a 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.

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, on the pretext that Darshan wanted to meet him. It was in this shed that he was allegedly tortured and killed. The body was found near a stormwater drain next to an apartment in Sumanahalli on 9 June.

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, adding that the victim had suffered multiple injuries on his body.

(Edited by Neena)