Renukaswamy murder case: Court extends police custody of Kannada actor Darshan and others by 5 days

PTI, Jun 15, 2024, 5:55 PM IST

Actor Darshan Thoogudeepa

Bengaluru: A court here on Saturday extended the police custody of Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa along with his friend Pavithra Gowda and eleven others, who are accused in connection with the Renukaswamy murder case, by five more days.

They were produced before the court as their six-day police custody will end on Sunday.

As the court would be shut on Sundays and Monday (Bakrid) — a public holiday, the police decided to produce them before Judge Vishwanath C Goudar. With this, Darshan, Gowda and others will continue to be in police custody till June 20.

The advocates of Darshan and others requested the court to send them to judicial custody. However, the investigation team requested the court that crucial evidence and equipment used to torture the deceased needs to be recovered and hence extend the police custody.

After hearing both sides, the 21st Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court granted police custody.

Darshan, popularly known as ”Challenging Star” and 12 of his close associates were arrested on Tuesday for the murder of 33-year-old Renukaswamy, a fan of the actor.

Renukaswamy, a resident of Chitradurga, allegedly commented on the social media account of Gowda, a small-time actress, accusing her of creating a rift between the actor and his wife. He also allegedly used ”indecent language” and posted offensive messages, according to police sources.

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

The body was found near a stormwater drain next to an apartment in Sumanahalli on June 9.

The investigation team is believed to have gathered enough evidence, including CCTV footage, which could establish that Darshan was present during the alleged assault on Renukaswamy, leading to his death, sources said, adding that the victim had suffered multiple injuries on his body.

According to sources, police had taken Darshan to his R R Nagar residence on Friday night for spot ‘mahazar’ and have reportedly seized certain things from there, including clothes.

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