Actor Darshan, 12 others arrested for murder in Karnataka

The victim, a diehard fan of Darshan had reportedly sent derogatory and lewd messages to the actor's friend Pavithra on social media and this was the reason for his murder.
The victim Renukaswamy (R), Actor  Darshan Thoogudeepa
The victim Renukaswamy (R), Actor Darshan Thoogudeepa

BENGALURU: Popular Sandalwood actor Darshan Thoogudeepa and 12 others, including his ‘close acquaintance’ Pavithra Gowda, have been arrested for allegedly torturing and murdering a 33-year-old medical store worker from Chitradurga.

The victim had reportedly sent derogatory and lewd messages to Pavithra on social media and this was the reason for his murder.

Ironically, the victim was a diehard fan of Darshan and sent messages to Pavithra, assuming that she was spoiling the relationship between the 47-year-old actor and his wife Vijayalakshmi.

All 13 accused have been remanded in police custody till June 17.

The victim has been identified as S Renukaswamy, a resident of Lakshmi Venkateshwara Layout in Chitradurga. He was allegedly kidnapped from Chitradurga on Saturday. His body was thrown into a stormwater drain near Sumanahalli bridge in the wee hours of Sunday.

The victim Renukaswamy (R), Actor  Darshan Thoogudeepa
Victim Renukaswamy was killed inside a shed in Pattanagere, plot owner says ready for questioning

The murder came to light around 8.30 am on Sunday when Keval Ram Dorji, a security staffer at an apartment in Sumanahalli, saw stray dogs dragging the body and reported the matter to police.

The police registered a murder case after noticing injury marks on the body. On Monday, three persons surrendered before Kamakshipalya police, claiming that they had murdered Renukaswamy.

Crowd near Kamamkshipalya police station after the news of the arrest of actor Darshan in an alleged murder case and will be brought to this station, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. .
Crowd near Kamamkshipalya police station after the news of the arrest of actor Darshan in an alleged murder case and will be brought to this station, in Bengaluru on Tuesday. .Express/ Shashidhar Byrappa

Raghavendra is alleged to have brought Renukaswamy from Chitradurga to the city. Nandeesha was the first to assault Renukaswamy.

While Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara confirmed the actor’s arrest, city police commissioner B Dayananda said, “The body was found on Sunday. Based on the injury marks on the body, a murder case was registered by  Kamakshipalya police. After preliminary investigations, the actor and his associates were arrested. The victim had sent derogatory messages to Pavithra Gowda.”

How the murder mystery unfolded

SATURDAY, June 8

7.30 am: Renukaswamy kidnapped from Chitradurga

2:30 pm: Victim taken to a shed at Pattanagere where he was allegedly tortured. Darshan and Pavithra Gowda visit the shed and leave at 3.30 pm

11 pm: Darshan gets a call from other accused informing him that Renukaswamy was dead

SUNDAY, June 9

4.30 am: Body is dumped on the bund of a storm water drain at Kamakshipalya

8.30 am: The security guard of a nearby apartment notices stray dogs dragging a body, informs police

9 am: Police reach spot, start probe

MONDAY, June 10

11 am: 3 accused surrender before Kamakshipalya police

4.30 pm: Cops identify the deceased and inform the family

TUESDAY, June 11

7.30 am: Bengaluru cops pick up Darshan from a star hotel in Mysuru

9.45 am: The actor was brought to Annapoorneshwari Nagar police station for questioning

11.40 am: Pavithra Gowda was also brought to police station from RR Nagar residence

5.15 pm: All accused taken to Bowring Hospital for medical test

6.05 pm: Accused produced before court

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