Darshan murder case: Sandalwood star in custody with girlfriend Pavithra Gowda, here's everything you need to know - Hindustan Times
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Darshan murder case: Sandalwood star in custody with girlfriend Pavithra Gowda, here's everything you need to know

Jun 15, 2024 07:35 PM IST

Actor Darshan, arrested for alleged murder, is currently in custody. Here's all you need to know on how he got here.

Actor Darshan Thoogudeepa, best known by fans as Challenging Star Darshan, was arrested on Tuesday for the alleged murder of 33-year-old Chitradurga resident Renukaswamy. The actor, who is being held at Bengaluru's Annapoorneshwarinagar Police Station, was taken into custody from his farm house in Mysuru. According to the Commissioner of Police B Dayananda, the victim allegedly shared lewd messages with Darshan's rumoured girlfriend Pavithra Gowda on social media. The 47-year-old actor, married to Vijayalakshmi Darshan, was informed about the same and the rest is history.

Darshan and rumoured girlfriend Pavithra Gowda are in a six-day police custody currently
Darshan and rumoured girlfriend Pavithra Gowda are in a six-day police custody currently

The body of Renukaswamy was spotted by a food delivery agent under Sumanahalli Bridge and reported it to the police immediately. The suspects first taken into custody, who are allegedly a part of Darshan's fan club, spilled the beans and mentioned the involvement of the actor in the case.

Recent updates on the case

Darshan is being questioned by the police as he is held in a six-day custody. About 13 people have been arrested, including the actor and his rumoured girlfriend Pavithra Gowda. Section 144 has been imposed around the police station where he is being interrogated and the premises have been cordoned off to avoid any mob or protest gatherings. When reached out to the police station, we were informed of no communication with media by an officer at the station.

According to reports, Darshan allegedly offered to pay 5 Lakhs each to three men to take the blame for the case. The case also stirred the internet on Tuesday evening when boxes of biryani were pictured being taken into the police station, arising the speculation that the actor and his aides were feasting in jail. However, Bengaluru police later denied those claims according to a news report, where they stated that the biryani was for the police kabbadi team and that Darshan merely ate idlies for dinner.

As of now, Vijayalakshmi has deactivated her social media profiles but not before she unfollowed Darshan's accounts on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce is set to hold a meeting to discuss their stand on Darshan after a protest broke out in the state demanding a ban on the actor and calling for justice. Since the issue, Sandalwood actors have been largely silent. When we reached out to several actors, HT City was met with refusal to any sort of comment.

Darshan's extra-marital affair?

Earlier this year, Pavithra Gowda shared a video on Instagram celebrating a decade of togetherness with Darshan. The video, which caused quite a stir on the internet, contained photos of the two together during holidays and intimate events such as birthdays. In the caption, Gowda wrote, “One decade down, forever to go. It’s been 10 years of our relationship. Thank you.” She also added, “Vijayalakshmi knows about my relationship with Darshan and she has told me several times that it is okay. Now, people are abusing me and my teenage daughter, which is causing me mental pain”.

In response to the video, Vijayalakshmi shared a post of Pavithra and her husband, Sanjay Singh, along with their daughter, Khushi Gowda with the caption, “I hope this woman has to come into her senses before posting somebody else’s husband picture, it talks about her character and moral standing, knowing that the man is marrried she still choose to come and stay for their own personal needs and agenda… These images clearly show kushi gowda is the daughter of Pavithra and sanjay Singh….I generally don’t take social media to raise voice over personal issues but I feel now it’s time to raise my voice in the best interest of my family…. Will take strict legal action against people who are trying to give a different image to the entire society (sic)”

Many fans voiced their opinions on the issue, with most taking sides. “Here 2 women fighting for 1 man. when will they understand???? You shld shame/condemn/fight against ur husband bcz he the one cheating u .... Instead of pointing ur fingers at that lady ..... If not her another ll come .... Try to keep ur husband with u or officially get seperate....(sic)," said one user while another speculated, “Pavithra gowda is second wife of Darshan so he shld reveal that and without Darshan support Pavithra gowda won’t post any pictures like that so clarity shld be given by Darshan (sic)”

When reached out to Vijayalakshmi, we were informed by a close friend that it was “not possible” to get in touch with her about the issue.

Past marital controversies

Darshan married Vijayalakshmi in 2000, and have a son, Vineesh, together. However, the actor has found himself on the wrong side of law in the marriage. In 2011, the actor was arrested on charges of allegedly assaulting his wife after she filed a complaint for the same. In 2016, Vijayalakshmi also reported ‘objectionable behaviour’ displayed by Darshan.

Not just marital issues, the Kaatera, Daasa, and Kariya actor has also faced charges on various other accounts.

Assault, blasphemy and more

Darshan was among eight people who appeared before the police for partying past 1am, in January 2024. It followed a noise complaint where the partygoers claimed that they had met to celebrate the success of his recent film Kaatera.

The actor's Mysuru farm was also raided by forest officials in 2023 after a video of him speaking about housing four bar-headed geese from Mongolia surfaced. In 2023, Darshan also found himself in trouble with the law after his dogs attacked and bit his neighbour, a lawyer, over her car being parked outside his house. The complaint that was filed alleged his involvement in the situation.

The same year, Darshan also enraged fans for making a blasphemous comment during the promotions of him film Kranti where he was recorded telling the media, “The Goddess of Luck does not always come knocking on your door. So, when she does come, grab her, drag her, and lock her in your bedroom without giving her clothes.”

Ongoing projects on hold

Darshan is currently working on a film titled Devil: The Hero alongside actors Rachana Rai and Mahesh Manjrekar. The film is Manjrekar's comeback to Sandalwood after 19 years. The film, directed by Prakash, is still underway as it had to be paused in March after Darshan sustained injuries to his hands. Until the time of publishing, we were met with no comments from Rai or Manjrekar on the situation.

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