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Darshan Contacted Several Individuals Post-Murder, Police Reveal

Actor Darshan Thoogudeepa Faces Charges Over Wildlife Allegations

Bengaluru: The Karnataka police, investigating the high-profile Renukaswamy murder case, have revealed that Kannada film star Darshan Thoogudeepa contacted numerous individuals immediately following the alleged killing. Another accused has confessed that the victim was subjected to electric shocks.

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In an effort to avoid legal repercussions and fund the cover-up and destruction of evidence, Darshan, identified as accused number two, reportedly borrowed Rs 40 lakh from a friend. The police have recovered this amount.

These details emerged in a remand application filed by the police before the 24th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) court on Thursday. The police sought custody of Darshan and three other suspects, while requesting judicial custody for his friend Pavithra Gowda and other accused.

A total of 17 individuals, including Darshan and Gowda, have been implicated in the murder. According to police sources, the incident was triggered by obscene messages sent by Renukaswamy, a fan of the actor, to Gowda, which allegedly enraged Darshan and led to the murder.

Renukaswamy’s body was discovered near a storm-water drain beside an apartment in Sumanahalli on June 9. The police noted that the 47-year-old actor and his co-accused—Dhanraj D, Vinay V, and Pradosh—were uncooperative and attempted to conceal crucial information.

On Thursday, the court extended the police custody of the four main suspects by two days, until June 22. The remaining accused were placed in judicial custody. Pavithra Gowda has been identified as the primary instigator, with the investigation revealing her role in inciting and conspiring with the other accused.

Evidence indicates that Darshan played a significant part in the crime, utilizing his finances, associates, and fanbase to further the conspiracy and manipulate the legal system. Dhanraj, accused number nine, voluntarily admitted to assaulting Renukaswamy with an electric shock torch, which has been confiscated by the police. However, Dhanraj has not disclosed the source of the device, necessitating further investigation.

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Post-crime, Darshan contacted several individuals, and the police need to interrogate him to understand his motives and the reasons behind his actions. Reports suggesting interference by influential figures in the investigation have been denied by the police.

In a revised statement, Darshan admitted to acquiring Rs 40 lakh from his friend Mohan Raj to evade legal consequences and to cover up the conspiracy. The police recovered Rs 37.4 lakh from Darshan’s residence and an additional Rs 3 lakh from his wife. Accused Pradosh has been identified as a key figure in the destruction of evidence and has been uncooperative, withholding critical information.

Pradosh reportedly disposed of the victim’s and another accused’s mobile phones in a drainage area, but efforts to retrieve them have been unsuccessful. The police recovered Rs 4.40 lakh and Renukaswamy’s gold ring and chain from Raghavendra’s house in Chitradurga. These items have been identified by Renukaswamy’s mother.

According to sources, Raghavendra, a member of Darshan’s fan club in Chitradurga, lured Renukaswamy to a shed in RR Nagar under the pretense of meeting Darshan. It was there that Renukaswamy was allegedly tortured and killed.

The investigation team claims to have substantial evidence, including CCTV footage, placing Darshan at the scene during the assault on Renukaswamy. Recovered items from the crime scene include lathis, wooden pieces, a water bottle, and blood-stained materials, along with a DVR containing crucial CCTV footage.

The autopsy report concluded that Renukaswamy’s death resulted from shock and hemorrhage due to multiple blunt force injuries, reinforcing the allegations against the accused.

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