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Fan’s murder: Kannada superstar Darshan named accused No. 2, wife Pavithra Gowda as prime accused

Bengaluru, June 11 (IANS) The Karnataka Police on Tuesday named Kannada superstar Darshan as the accused No. 2 and his second wife Pavithra Gowda as the prime accused in the alleged murder of a man named Renukaswamy (33) from Chitradurga, who was a big fan of the actor, sources said.

The police have arrested 13 persons in connection with the case, including Darshan and his wife Pavithra Gowda, the sources said.

The accused were taken to the Bowring Hospital for a medical check-up after which they will be produced before the court where the police are likely to seek their custody for further investigation.

The other accused persons have been identified as Pavan, M. Laxman, Nikhil Nayak, Keshava Murthy, Karthik, M. Deepak Kumar, R. Nagaraju, and Raghavendra, among others.

Darshan was arrested on Tuesday morning in connection with the alleged murder of 33-year-old Renukaswamy, whose body was found in Bengaluru on June 9.

The probe said the deceased was a die-hard fan of Darshan.

While the police earlier maintained that the actor had been detained for questioning, Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara later confirmed the arrest.

“His role came up during the investigation, based on which Darshan is being investigated by the police. Nothing more can be said about the murder now. Darshan is in police custody, and considering the seriousness of the case, he has been arrested,” Parameshwara said.

Meanwhile, sources said the actor allegedly tried to mislead the police by implicating four of his fans after Renukaswamy’s body was found in a canal.

When the police questioned them, they claimed to have committed the crime over a financial dispute. However, their statements were not convincing.

When their call records were checked, Darshan’s role in the case became apparent, sources said.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Renukaswamy was a hardcore fan of Darshan and was reportedly disturbed by the conflict between Darshan’s first and second wives.

Renukaswamy wanted Darshan to be with his first wife and son, so he targeted Pavithra Gowda whenever she posted her photos with the actor on social media.

Police sources said Darshan and his associates allegedly attacked Renukaswamy brutally, hitting him on his head, face, chest, and back. The accused also slashed his nose, mouth, and jaw.

Burn injuries were found on the body, hinting at the use of a hot iron rod.

Sources claimed that more than 10 people attacked Renukaswamy, including Darshan, and threw him against a wall multiple times.

The deceased’s family said that Renukaswamy worked at a pharmacy and got married a year ago. His wife is three-month pregnant.

The murder came to light on June 9 after an unidentified body was found in a canal.

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