Leading Kannada actor Darshan Toogudeepa was arrested early Friday on charges of beating and torturing his wife Vijayalakshmi, besides threatening to shoot her. Her complaint said she was burnt with cigarette butts and battered on the head with the butt of a firearm.

Even as his fans, incensed over his arrest, rioted outside the Vijayanagar police station here demanding the actor's release, the film fraternity swiftly came together to thrash out a compromise between the couple, which has a three-year-old child.

Darshan (39) was produced before the jurisdictional magistrate, who remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.

Complaint filed

Ms. Vijayalakshmi, who suffered severe head and burn injuries, was treated at the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Vijayanagar.

She has filed a complaint against her husband for murder attempt and criminal intimidation.

The police have also registered a case under the Arms Act as the actor had hit his wife in the head with the butt of a firearm.

The police seized a .38 revolver and four bullets from the actor, who has been accused of savagely beating and torturing his wife for four hours from 6 p.m. on Thursday. Around 2 a.m., Ms. Vijayalakshmi fled their home and went to the Vijayanagar police where she filed a complaint, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Sidramappa said.

“Darshan tortured his wife by inflicting burns on her with a cigarette. There were burns near her neck, on the chest, arms and legs,” said another officer attached to the Vijayanagar police station. The police are expected to cancel his gun licence.

Trouble erupts

Darshan, the son of yesteryear star Toogudeepa Srinivas, lives in Rajarajeshwarinagar and married Ms. Vijayalakshmi seven years ago. Family sources said tensions had developed between the couple of late and one of the contributing factors was his excessive drinking.

Ms. Vijayalakshmi left him taking their son and moved in with her parents at Bapujinagar near Vijayanagar.

“On learning that his wife was visiting her friend Vidya on Thursday, Darshan arrived there and asked her to return with him to their home. She relented and accompanied him in his chauffeur-driven car. Soon the two began fighting, and he began beating and torturing her,” said a police official.