Fake TRP scam: Two top Republic TV editors appear before Mumbai Police's crime branch

The scam came to light when rating agency BARC filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP numbers

Press Trust of India October 14, 2020 17:50:28 IST
Fake TRP scam: Two top Republic TV editors appear before Mumbai Police's crime branch

File image of Arnab Goswami

Mumbai: Republic TV's executive editor Niranjan Narayanswamy and senior executive editor Abhishek Kapoor on Wednesday appeared before the Mumbai crime branch for recording statements in the fake TRP racket case.

Narayanswamy reached the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) office at 12 noon, while Kapoor, who is based in Delhi, reached around 4 pm, a crime branch official said.

Republic TV on 10 October had aired a document that purportedly belonged to Hansa Research Group.

The summons issued to Narayanswamy and Kapoor on Tuesday said there were "reasonable grounds to believe" they were "acquainted with certain facts and circumstances of the document", so it was necessary to record their statements.

In a tweet, Republic TV said, "Senior Executive Editor Abhishek Kapoor reaches Crime Branch after being summoned. Republic Media Network will not yield by revealing sources."

In another tweet, the news channel said, "Republic Media Network stands with our Executive Editor Niranjan Narayanaswamy & Senior Executive Editor Abhishek Kapoor. Republic stands wholly for the right of the media to report and protect its sources."

The crime branch has so far arrested five persons in the case.

The alleged fake TRP scam came to light when rating agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP numbers.

It was alleged that some families at whose houses metres for collecting data of viewership were installed were bribed to tune into a particular channel.

Last week, Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh had claimed that Republic TV and two Marathi – Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi – manipulated TRP for better advertisement revenue. Republic TV rubbished Singh's claims.

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