Pavithra hit Renukaswamy with slippers, police note says, indicating she was present at murder site

PTI, Jun 22, 2024, 9:14 AM IST

Bengaluru: Actor Pavithra Gowda, the prime accused in the Renukaswamy murder case, had beaten up the victim with her slippers, according to a recent remand note presented by the police in court, which suggests that she was at the site of the murder for a certain period of time.

The actress has been named as accused number one in the case, allegedly for being the instigator, while leading Kannada film actor Darshan Thoogudeepa is accused number two, who allegedly executed the murder.

The information on the police remand note indicates that Pavithra herself was present at the site of the murder of Renukaswamy.

Police have seized the slipper, clothes, materials and other documents connected to Darshan, from Pavithra’s house.

Darshan and Gowda as well as 15 others have been arrested in the Renukaswamy murder case.

As part of the investigation, police sources said, they are contemplating on approaching social media giant Meta to retrieve data related to messages shared by Renukaswamy on his Instagram post, which has been deleted.

The police said Darshan had contacted several individuals soon after the alleged killing. Another accused has confessed that the victim was administered electric shock.

Darshan’s gang member Dhanaraj D alias Raja, who is accused number nine in the case, is the one who had allegedly given Renukaswamy electric shocks, they said. Police have seized an ‘Electric Shock Torch’ from his house.

Darshan had taken Rs 40 lakh from a friend with the aim of escaping from “adverse legal actions” against him and to meet the expenses to “cover up” the conspiracy and destruction of evidence, according to the police. The money has been recovered, they added.

Officials have shared an update on the investigation in the remand application filed by the police before the 24th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court on Thursday, when they sought police custody of Darshan and three others, and judicial custody of his friend Pavithra and the remaining accused.

According to police sources, Renukaswamy, a fan of the actor, had sent obscene messages to Pavithra, which enraged Darshan and allegedly led to him plotting and executing the murder. Renukaswamy’s body was found near a storm-water drain next to an apartment in Sumanahalli here on June 9. He was allegedly tortured to death on June 8.

Police have said that the 47-year-old male actor and other accused Dhanraj D, Vinay V and Pradosh are not cooperating with the investigation and have tried to hide facts.

The court on Thursday extended the police custody of the four by two days till June 22. The rest were remanded into judicial custody.

Police have identified accused number one Pavithra as the “major cause” for Renukaswamy’s murder, stating that it has been proved from the probe that she instigated the other accused, conspired with them, and took part in the crime.

It has been found from the available evidence that Darshan is involved in the crime, using his money, other accused and his fanbase, they said.

During the probe, accused number nine Dhanraj, in his voluntary statement, told police that he assaulted Renukaswamy and used the ‘electric shock torch’ to administer jolts to the victim.

“He has not revealed from where he obtained the device and is hiding the information. He has to be probed further,” police said.

According to the police, Darshan had contacted several people after the crime, and an inquiry needs to be done in his presence to ascertain the motive and reasons behind it.

There were some reports that a few influential people had tried to interfere with the probe. Police have rejected the reports.

Darshan, in his revised statement, has admitted to obtaining Rs 40 lakh from his friend Mohan Raj for escaping from adverse legal actions against him and to cover up conspiracy and destruction of evidence, the police said.

Rs 37.4 lakh was recovered from Darshan’s house, they said, adding that another Rs 3 lakh recovered from his wife to whom he had given the sum.

Accused Pradosh played the main role in the destruction of evidence and has not been revealing information, police said. He had taken another person to the crime scene, whose identity he has not disclosed; he needs to be probed further, they added.

Pradosh is also said to have thrown the mobile phones of the victim and accused number four Raghavendra in the “drainage” and efforts made to recover them have not yielded result, the police said.

A sum of Rs 4.40 lakh has been recovered from Raghavendra’s residence in the district headquarters town of Chitradurga. They have also recovered the victim Renukaswamy’s gold ring and chain from Raghavendra’s residence. Renukaswamy’s mother has identified the recovered gold ring and chain.

According to sources, Raghavendra, who is part of Darshan’s fan club in Chitradurga, had brought Renukaswamy to a shed in R R Nagar here on the pretext that Darshan wanted to meet him. It was in this shed that the victim was allegedly tortured and killed, a police official said.

The investigation team is believed to have gathered evidence including CCTV footage that could establish Darshan’s presence during the alleged assault on Renukaswamy that led to his death, sources said.

“From the spot of the crime, a lathi, wood pieces, water bottle, blood stains, material evidence, and a DVR containing CCTV footage have been recovered,” the official had earlier said.

According to the autopsy report, Renukaswamy’s death was caused due to shock and haemorrhage as a result of multiple blunt injuries he sustained, the sources added.

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