Darshan’s aides beat up victim till he lost consciousness: Cops | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Darshan’s aides beat up victim till he lost consciousness: Cops

By, Bengaluru
Jun 13, 2024 08:30 AM IST

The murderers, who attacked Renukaswamy in a shed used to park seized vehicles in southwestern Bengaluru on Saturday night, then dumped his corpse in a stormwater drain

Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa whipped 33-year-old Renukaswamy with a belt till he lost consciousness, before his associates beat his limp body with a stick and then flung him against a wall on June 8, eventually killing him, investigators said on Wednesday, revealing chilling details about the murder that led to police arresting the star and his long-term partner Pavithra Gowda the previous day.

Locals gather as actor Darshan Thoogudeepa, an accused in the Renukaswamy murder case, being brought to the crime scene for investigation, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday. (PTI)
Locals gather as actor Darshan Thoogudeepa, an accused in the Renukaswamy murder case, being brought to the crime scene for investigation, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday. (PTI)

“The men thrashed Renukaswamy before Darshan arrived. The repeated assault resulted in multiple bone fractures, which ultimately led to his death. We are collecting evidence to corroborate these statements from the arrested suspects,” said a senior investigator, who asked not to be named.

The murderers, who attacked Renukaswamy in a shed used to park seized vehicles in southwestern Bengaluru on Saturday night, then dumped his corpse in a stormwater drain 10km away between 3.30am and 5am, said police.

The investigator said Pavithra (35) provoked “Darshan to retaliate against Renukaswamy”, who sent her derogatory messages on social media over their relationship.

“Subsequently, Darshan asked Raghavendra, the district president of his fan association in Chitradurga, to gather information about the victim,” said the officer, adding that Renukaswamy was then lured to Bengaluru on the pretext of meeting the popular actor.

Police said Darshan’s wife, Vijayalakshmi, sparred with Gowda on social media after she posted videos celebrating “10 years of relationship” with the former.

Renukaswamy then allegedly began trolling Pavithra and posting derogatory messages on her social media profiles, in what police said was the trigger for the murder.

Renukaswamy, who worked at a pharmacy in Chitradurga, married on June 28 last year. His wife, Sahana, is five months pregnant, said police.

Police reports indicate that Renukaswamy suffered severe injuries, particularly to his groin.

Darshan and Pavithra were taken to the shed on Wednesday to recreate the sequence of events, said investigators. They also recovered crucial forensic samples that will help fortify the case against the actor, adding that his car, a Red Jeep Wrangler, was seen on CCTV footage and seized, apart from a Mahindra Scorpio allegedly used to dispose of Renukaswamy’s body.

Although the police complaint in the murder was lodged by a security guard in an adjacent building who spotted the corpse, officers said that a food delivery agent initially noticed dogs scavenging on the body and alerted police.

Police, however, said Darshan did not realise Renukaswamy had died.

Pradosh, one of the men who attacked Renukaswamy, informed Darshan of the man’s death. Darshan then offered to pay off three of the men to take the blame for the murder.

The murder came to light on June 9. As the investigation progressed, two suspects approached police, confessing to the murder and claiming the killing was down to a financial dispute between them and Renukaswamy.

However, their differing responses during interrogations prompted investigators to widen their probe. Further investigations revealed Darshan’s involvement.

He initially offered to pay the men — Raghavendra, Karthik, and Kesavamurthy — 5 lakh to dispose of the body and surrender to the police. He promised to pay them more money after the trial, apart from covering their legal expenses.

A senior police officer said phone call records between Darshan’s associates and Raghavendra provided crucial evidence.

The remand application lists the accused as Pavithra Gowdra, Darshan Thoogudeepa, Pavan K, Raghavendra, Nandish, Vinay V, Nagaraju R, Laxman M, Deepak Kumar M, Pradosh S, Karthik, Kesavamurthy, Nikhil Nayak, Jagadish, Anu, Ravi, and Raju. Out of these, 13 individuals, including Darshan, are in custody, while the police continue their search for the remaining four suspects.

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