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Kannada star Darshan paid Rs 5 lakh each to two accused for shouldering murder blame

Among the four accused is one Raghavendra, a member of the actor's fan association from Chitradurga. Police believe the actor had asked him to bring the victim Renukaswamy to Bengaluru. The other two accused were also promised equal sum, the remand application said.
Last Updated : 12 June 2024, 17:18 IST

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Bengaluru: Kannada film star Darshan Thoogudeepa is believed to have paid Rs 5 lakh each to two of the four men who took the blame for the murder of Renukaswamy, the actor's fan from Chitradurga.

Their end of the bargain was to not take the actor's name during police investigation, no matter what. The other two suspects were promised Rs 5 lakh each once they went to jail.

Among the four men is Raghavendra, a member of the actor's fan association from Chitradurga. Police believe the actor had asked him to bring Renukaswamy to Bengaluru.

Darshan, 47, was furious with Renukaswamy, 34, a pharmacy worker, after he sent obscene messages and photos to his close friend Pavithra Gowda, 33, on Instagram.

Renukaswamy’s body was found discarded next to a stormwater drain in western Bengaluru's Sumanahalli around 8.30 am on June 9.

The body showed injury marks on the head, face, ears and other parts, with some areas gnawed by dogs.

The same day, Raghavendra and three others — Karthik alias Kappe, Nikhil Naik and Keshavamurthy — surrendered to the police, claiming they killed Renukaswamy over a financial dispute.

As per the remand application, Darshan’s aide Deepak Kumar M offered Rs 5 lakh each to the four men for taking the blame. He paid the money to Naik and Keshavamurthy and told them not to breathe a word about the actor. Kumar also promised to pay Raghavendra and Karthik’s families once they were sent to jail.

Police investigations showed that four people had helped Raghavendra bring Renukaswamy to Bengaluru but left soon after. They did not accompany Raghavendra to the warehouse in RR Nagar where Renukaswamy was beaten to death with wooden sticks and ropes in the early hours of June 9, police sources said.

A security officer working at a nearby apartment complex discovered the body. Kamakshipalya police opened a murder case and examined CCTV footage. Three cars — two Scorpios (one white, one black) and a red Jeep Wrangler — caught their attention.

Further investigations showed the black Scorpio was last seen in RR Nagar. Before police could probe further, the four men surrendered.

However, police detected 'inconsistencies' in their statements and questioned them further. The men eventually blurted out Kumar's name.

On June 10, police picked up Kumar and another man named Vinay V, who ran the RR Nagar warehouse where Renukaswamy was tortured to death.

The same day, police apprehended five more suspects — Pawan K, Nandish, Nagaraju R, Laxman M and Pradosh S — near the toll plaza in Bidadi.

After interrogating the suspects, police learnt about the involvement of Darshan and Pavithra. They arrested Darshan from a luxury hotel in Mysuru while Pavithra was picked up from Bengaluru.

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Published 12 June 2024, 17:18 IST

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