Actor Darshan, Aides Beat Renuka Swamy With Sticks, Gave Electric Shocks

Actor Darshan case: Renuka Swamy, who worked for a pharmacy company, allegedly posted obscene messages on social media about actor Pavithra Gowda, who is Darshan Thogudeepa's co-star and close friend.

Actor Darshan, Aides Beat Renuka Swamy With Sticks, Gave Electric Shocks

Darshan Thoogudeepa case: Actor Darshan with friend and co-star Pavithra Gowda (File).


Seventeen people, led by actors Pavithra Gowda and Darshan Thoogudeepa, conspired to murder Renuka Swamy - the 33-year-old man who allegedly sent obscene text messages to the latter and, days later, was found dead in Karnataka's Bengaluru, police said in a remand copy seen by NDTV.

Police believe Mr Swamy was beaten with sticks and then tied up and subject to electric shocks.

The cops also believe Darshan - listed as Accused No 2 - may have paid as much as Rs 50 lakh to four men involved in the planning and execution of the gruesome crime, including arranging for Renuka Swamy to be brought from Chitradurga district to the state capital, a distance of 200 km.

This, the police believe, includes Rs 30 lakh paid to a man called Pradosh (alias Pawan) to handle all aspects of the abduction and murder, as well as disposal of the body. Two others - Nikhil and Keshavamurthy were given Rs 5 lakh each for their roles in the murder and dumping the body.

READ | Actor Darshan Asked 3 To Take Blame For Murder, Paid 15 Lakh

Also Rs 5 lakh was to be paid to the families of two men - Raghavendra and Karthik - for submitting false confessions and going to prison in place of Darshan, Ms Pavithra, and the others.

What Led To Murder Of Renuka Swamy?

Mr Swamy, who worked for a pharmacy company, allegedly posted obscene messages on social media about Ms Gowda, who is also Mr Thogudeepa's co-star and close friend.

Police sources told news agency PTI she "instigated" Mr Thogudeepa to act on her behalf.

72 Hours In Murder Of Renuka Swamy

The police claim Mr Swamy was kidnapped from Chitradurga on June 8.

He was allegedly snatched by Raghavendra, a fan of the actor who arranged for a taxi driven by another accused - Ravi or Ravishankar - to dump him at a shed in Bengaluru's Kamakshipalya area.

That version has been disputed by Ravi, who said the accused "persuaded" Mr Swamy to come with them to Bengaluru on the pretext of meeting Darshan to discuss the row over his social media posts.

Ravi, who went into hiding in Bengaluru after handing off Renuka Swamy, surrendered on June 10; he had been instructed to do so by his union, to whom he had reached out for assistance.

The three others who allegedly received money from actor Darshan also surrendered that day.

All four initially confessed to the abduction and murder of Renuka Swamy, before interrogation by a senior police officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police Chandan Kumar, revealed murky details.

READ | Victim In Darshan Case Not Kidnapped, Claims Cab Driver

All four later pointed to Darshan Thogudeepa and Pavithra Gowda as key conspirators, and that one of the conditions for the lakhs they were paid was to not reveal actor Darshan's name.

All four also confirmed speculation the motive was the many social media messages, several containing allegedly obscene remarks, Renuka Swamy had posted to or about Ms Gowda.

Renuka Swamy's body was found the following day, dumped near a storm water drain where it was discovered by a food delivery agent who chased away feral dogs nibbling at the corpse.

What Happened To Renuka Swamy In Shed?

The post-mortem report said he died of shock and internal bleeding from injuries including wounds on the head and abdomen. The cops also seized a leather belt used by Darshan to whip him.

READ | Actor Darshan, Aides Beat Renuka Swamy With Belt: Probe

The autopsy also suggested Mr Swamy had been rammed head-first into a small parked truck

Renuka Swamy Murder Case Evidence So far

The cops have bagged bloodstain samples from the shed where Renuka Swamy may have been tortured and killed, as well as strands of his hair and an, as yet unidentified liquid from the cab.

READ | Renuka Swamy Died Of Shock, Hemorrhage: Post-Mortem Report

There is also security cam footage from the area around the shed, as well as CCTV clips from the residence of one of the accuse - Pradosh, who was allegedly paid Rs 30 lakh as hush money - and from toll booths passed by the cab ferrying Renuka Swamy from Chitradurga to Bengaluru.

Cops found two cars while examining CCTV feeds from near the shed. Two cars can be seen driving away on the night of the murder; at least one vehicle is linked to actor Darshan. One car - which brought Renuka Swamy to Bengaluru - was later found in Ayyanahalli village in Chitradurga district.

Renuka Swamy's clothes and those worn by Darshan and Ms Gowda have also been bagged.

Karnataka Government Response

Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara has backed the cops to complete inquiries and successfully prosecute the accused, and has also denied claims Darshan Thogudeepa and Pavithra Gowda - both of whom have been arrested - are receiving preferential treatment while in jail.

"Our policemen have done well. They did not succumb to pressure... Hence, there is no need to hand the case to the CBI," he said when asked about handing the case over to the federal agency.

"There should not be any politics in this case. I am saying this because I have seen media reports. This should not have happened but it did... but we will not bow to any pressure," he said.

Mr Parameshwara also said the cops will decide if actor Darshan is a "habitual offender", referring to a 2011 case in which he was arrested for allegedly assaulting and threatening his wife. He was later released on bail and the couple claimed to have settled the issue, and she withdrew the case.

With input from agencies

NDTV is now available on WhatsApp channels. Click on the link to get all the latest updates from NDTV on your chat.