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Kannada star Darshan, partner Pavithra Gowda arrested in murder case; remanded to six-day police custody

Leading Kannada film actor Darshan Thoogudeepa and his close friend and actress Pavithra Gowda were arrested on Tuesday in Bengaluru in connection with the murder of a man who allegedly made "derogatory" comments against her, police sources said.

The police questioned Darshan, popularly known as the Challenging Star, and 12 others after taking them into custody in connection with the alleged murder of the man, identified as Renuka Swamy, whose body was found on June 9. Later, they all were arrested. They were produced before a Bengaluru Magistrate court, which remanded them to six days police custody.

It is alleged that Renuka Swamy, who worked with a pharma company and hailed from the district headquarters town of Chitradurga, had made "derogatory" comments against Gowda in social media posts, the sources said.

The 47-year-old Darshan, who featured in several commercially successful films including Kariya, Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna, Kalasipalya, Gaja, Navagraha, Saarathi, Bulbul, Yajamana, Robert, and Kaatera, was picked up from a Mysuru hotel as he stepped out after working out in the gym there, in connection with the murder here, police said.

After the alleged killing at a shed at Pattanagere under Kamakshipalya police station limits, allegedly belonging to one of the aides of Darshan, Renuka Swamy's body was dumped into a nearby stormwater drain, police sources said.

"Based on the recovery of the dead body of an unidentified man and the injuries on his body, a murder case was registered. On the basis of CCTV footage and other technical evidence, the deceased was identified as Renuka Swamy," Bengaluru Police Commissioner B Dayananda said.

Police came to know about the incident after some local residents alerted them about the body, which was later sent for an autopsy and the forensic report confirmed that he was murdered, police sources said. Further investigation led to the arrest of 11 suspects, police sources said, adding, based on their statement, Darshan and Pavithra were taken into custody.

"We are probing to find out if the actor was directly involved in the murder or was part of the conspiracy," a police official said.

Renuka Swamy's parents were inconsolable after learning about the murder. "He was my only son. Last year he got married. I spoke to him on Saturday only. I want justice," his father Srinivasaiah told reporters at Kamakshipalya police station.

Earlier in the day, Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara said Darshan is being subjected to an inquiry by police. "A person from Chitradurga was murdered in Bengaluru. In connection with that murder some people have been arrested, and during their inquiry Darshan's name has come, so he has been brought for inquiry," Parameshwara told reporters.

"Until the investigation is over, nothing can be said. Whether he (Darshan) is involved or not. What is the reason for the murder. Why has his name come? All those things will be known only after the investigation. So at this point in time, nothing else can be said," he added.

Police have provided tight security at the house of Darshan, who made his debut as a lead actor in the movie 'Majestic' in 2002, and has a huge fan following, at RR Nagar in Bengaluru.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DNA staff and is published from PTI

Source : DNA India