Darshan murder case: Four offered Rs 20 lakhs not to name Kannada actor, reveals probe

From Saturday night till the body was dumped by the side of the stormwater drain near Sumanahalli bridge in the wee hours of Sunday, Rs 10 lakh was paid to two of the four accused.
Police take four of the accused for spot mahazar at the stormwater drain, where the victim’s body was found, in Sumanahalli on Wednesday
Police take four of the accused for spot mahazar at the stormwater drain, where the victim’s body was found, in Sumanahalli on Wednesday | Vinod Kumar T

BENGALURU: Investigations into the murder of Chitradurga pharmacy worker KS Renukaswamy, 33, in which actor Darshan and 12 others have been arrested, have revealed that the four accused, who had surrendered before the police, were offered Rs 20 lakh to ensure that the actor’s name doesn’t come up in the case.

From Saturday night till the body was dumped by the side of the stormwater drain near Sumanahalli bridge in the wee hours of Sunday, Rs 10 lakh was paid to two of the four accused. The four accused agreed to confess that they had murdered Renukaswamy after accepting the money offered to them.

They worked for a firm engaged in seizing vehicles from loan defaulters. The firm has taken the land, where Renukaswamy was murdered in a shed, on lease, police sources said.

Police take four of the accused for spot mahazar at the stormwater drain, where the victim’s body was found, in Sumanahalli on Wednesday
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Deepak, one of the accused, is alleged to have given Rs 5 lakh each to Nikhil Naik and Keshavamurthy. As per the deal, the remaining amount of Rs 10 lakh was to be paid to the family members of Karthik alias Kappe and Raghavendra after they went to jail.

The four accused are alleged to have had WhatsApp conversations with Darshan from Saturday night till the body was disposed of. After they surrendered, the police seized their mobile phones. During interrogation, they disclosed Darshan’s involvement in the murder. The police then checked the tower location and found the actor’s phone active near the scene of crime, the sources said.

Police take four of the accused for spot mahazar at the stormwater drain, where the victim’s body was found, in Sumanahalli on Wednesday
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Number of accused in murder case touches 17

The police gathered enough evidence before getting to the actor as they knew his political connections and also his huge fan base, the sources added.

The police had examined the CCTV footage at Sattva Anugraha apartment complex near Sumanahalli bridge and tracked the movement of a Scorpio SUV. After the accused surrendered, the police told them about the CCTV footage when they are said to have revealed the names of Darshan, his close acquaintance Pavithra Gowda and others.

The police are verifying the antecedents of Deepak. The sources said four more people were involved in the case. With this, the number of accused in the case has gone up to 17. Of them, 13 have been arrested. The four accused have been identified as Jagadish alias Jagga, Anu, Ravi and Raju, who are yet to be arrested.

Police take four of the accused for spot mahazar at the stormwater drain, where the victim’s body was found, in Sumanahalli on Wednesday
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On Wednesday, the police resorted to a mild lathicharge to disperse Darshan’s fans after they raised slogans in his support in front of Annapoorneshwari Nagar police station. Darshan did not sleep in the lock-up last night and looked worried. He was on juice the whole of Tuesday and is said to have had idlis on Wednesday morning.

The police took Darshan, Pavithra and other accused to the shed, where the victim was murdered, for a spot mahazar. City police commissioner B Dayananda visited the police station and reviewed the investigations conducted so far.

Police take four of the accused for spot mahazar at the stormwater drain, where the victim’s body was found, in Sumanahalli on Wednesday
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Did Darshan give money to victim to go home?

After Renukaswamy was brought to the shed, Darshan and Pavithra allegedly went there and the latter allegedly hit him with her footwear. Darshan warned Renukaswamy not to send any messages to Pavithra and reportedly gave him money to return to Chitradurga. After Darshan and Pavithra left the shed, the other accused allegedly continued to torture Renukaswamy. He died after one of the accused allegedly kicked his private parts. Darshan, who was informed about the death of Renukaswamy by his associates, reportedly lost his cool and assaulted Pavithra, blaming her for the whole incident. Because of this, Pavithra was admitted to a private hospital and discharged on Monday. Further investigations are on.

Police take four of the accused for spot mahazar at the stormwater drain, where the victim’s body was found, in Sumanahalli on Wednesday
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