Two more arrested in Renukaswamy murder case; under no pressure to favour Darshan, says Govt


PTI, Jun 15, 2024, 8:11 AM IST

Bengaluru: Two more persons were arrested on Friday in connection with the Renukaswamy murder case, in which Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa is an accused along with his friend Pavithra Gowda, police sources said.

Jagadish and Anukumar were taken into custody from the district headquarters town of Chitradurga by a team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Dinakar.

They are reportedly involved in kidnapping Renukaswamy from Chitradurga, the sources said.

Darshan, popularly known as “Challenging Star”, and 12 of his close associates were arrested on Tuesday for the murder of the 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.

Police on Thursday arrested three people, including a close aide of Darshan, in connection with the case. They had also recovered CCTV footage purportedly showing the suspected abduction of the victim in a car.

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 here, 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 storm-water 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.

A police officer involved in the probe said the case is not like any other and is demanding in terms of efforts, forethought and volume. He said: “We are doing multi-tasking in terms of collection of information and evidence.”

Meanwhile, Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara denied reports that “royal treatment” was being given to Darshan at the Annapoorneshwari Nagar police station, where he is currently held along with his arrested associates.

He said Darshan is being given similar treatment as given to any other accused, adding that neither ‘Biryani’ was served nor special facilities were being provided to him.

“It is not possible for police to give Biryani and royal treatment to the accused. It is not done and it should not be done,” Parameshwara told reporters here.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters in Mysuru that no one approached him to influence the investigation in favour of Darshan. “We will abide by the law,” he said.

Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar rubbished reports that the government is under pressure from “influential people” to “favour” Darshan.

“There is no pressure from anyone…..neither our Home Minister or anyone else is involved in it, we are not recommending anything, we don’t know anything,” Shivakumar said in response to a question that some influential people are exerting pressure on the government in the Darshan case.

His statement comes in the wake of some reports about a state minister’s alleged efforts to “shield” Darshan.

Meanwhile, BJP leader C P Yogeshwar claimed that Shivakumar and his brother and former MP D K Suresh had planned to field Darshan as Congress candidate in the upcoming Channapatna Assembly bypoll.

Channapatna bypoll is necessitated as the segment fell vacant following the election of its representative — JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy — to Lok Sabha.

The election schedule for this seat is yet to be announced by the Election Commission.

A protest was held in the district headquarters town of Kalaburagi by the Jangam Samaj demanding harshest punishment for Darshan and his accomplices.

A massive protest march was held from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Circle in Kalaburagi to the District Deputy Commissioner’s Office and the protesters burnt the portrait of Darshan near the DC office condemning the killing of Renukaswamy.

Similar protests were reported from several parts of the state.

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