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Bail denied for wife ‘assault’
Darshan with wife Vijayalakshmi

Bangalore, Sept. 13: A Kannada action hero with a huge following was today denied bail for allegedly assaulting his wife and pointing a revolver after a quarrel that turned violent over a love triangle involving a female co-star.

A magistrate refused to free the 34-year-old Darshan, although his wife, Vijayalakshmi, agreed to withdraw her complaint following industry efforts to broker truce.

The judge declined to heed a police memo that had replaced the charge of attempt to murder with a lighter one of assault with a weapon and ordered that the actor be kept in jail custody till September 21.

Darshan, who has some 40 films under his belt, was arrested on Friday after his wife filed a complaint. The actor, who played an army commando and rescued a minister from terrorists in a movie titled Yodha, had apparently whipped out his licensed revolver and threatened to kill his wife while returning home the previous night.

Darshan was apparently drunk when the incident took place in the back seat of his Toyota Innova. However, the driver, the sole witness, claimed he didn’t see or hear anything as a sound-proof partition separated him from the couple, a fact the police later confirmed.

Vijayalakshmi said Darshan had assaulted her earlier, too, when she had confronted him with his alleged relationship with Nikita.

Remanded in custody, Darshan spent the night in jail before being shifted the next day to the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases where he is being treated for jaundice and asthma.

With fans going berserk and four big-budget films at stake, the Kannada film industry stepped in to sort matters out of court. “They are adults and we should let them sort this problem amicably,” said senior actor Ambarish, who led the initiative.

Vijayalakshmi agreed to withdraw her complaint and even visited her husband in hospital yesterday. But the magistrate wasn’t moved.

Darshan has the option of moving a higher court but sources said the charge of attempt to murder was serious.

Nikita

His co-star Nikita, too, landed in a spot of bother after the Kannada Film Producers’ Association handed her a three-year ban.

Nikita said she was shocked. “Why me? What have I done?” she said, denying any involvement with Darshan.

However, producers’ association chief Munirathna said: “It’s (the ban) a lesson for other actors as well.”

While Darshan remained in custody, his fans grieved outside. A 20-year-old, who came from Kollegal, 140km away, couldn’t stop crying. “I’ll commit suicide if they don’t allow me to see him today,” Kavya sobbed.

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