Kannada Actor Darshan, Partner Arrested for Allegedly Plotting Man’s Murder

Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa and his partner Pavithra Gowda were arrested on Monday for allegedly plotting the murder of a 33-year-old man from Bengaluru, in a case that has left Karnataka stunned.

According to police, a total of 17 arrests have been made so far in connection with the murder of Renukaswamy, who was allegedly killed after sending inappropriate messages to Gowda over her relationship with the married actor.

Police said an associate of Darshan allegedly lured Renukaswamy from Chitradurga to Bengaluru on Saturday under the pretext of meeting the popular actor. He was then allegedly kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Darshan’s men.

The victim’s body was found in a stormwater drain in Bengaluru’s Summanahalli area on June 9, bearing injuries that pointed to foul play, said city police chief B Dayananda.

Initial arrests had claimed the killing was over a financial dispute, but investigations led police to unravel Darshan and Gowda’s alleged involvement after analysing call records and CCTV footage.

“Darshan contacted the district president of his fan association in Chitradurga and asked him to bring Renukaswamy to Bengaluru,” Dayananda said, adding that the victim was assaulted at a police parking lot where Darshan’s car was spotted leaving.

The alleged trigger appears to be derogatory messages that Renukaswamy sent to Gowda over her relationship with Darshan, after the actor’s wife Vijayalakshmi confronted Gowda on social media.

Gowda has been named the prime suspect, while Darshan, 47, is the secondary accused. They have been remanded in police custody for six days by a Bengaluru court.

Renukaswamy, a pharmacy worker who married in June 2022 and had a pregnant wife, was the sole breadwinner for his family who is distraught and seeking justice.

Darshan, a popular name in Kannada cinema with hits like Kariya and Yajamana, had previously spent a month in jail in 2011 for assaulting his wife before being acquitted in 2013.

The shocking case has gripped Karnataka, as police investigate the role of the actor, his partner and multiple associates in the brutal crime over perceived online trolling.

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