Home > News > TRP scam: Cops arrest 2 more ex-staffers of Hansa Research | India News

TRP scam: Cops arrest 2 more ex-staffers of Hansa Research | India News


MUMBAI: The Mumbai crime branch probing the TRP manipulation scam on Tuesday arrested two former employees of Hansa Research for their alleged role in rigging viewership figures for three television channels. This takes the total number of arrests made in the scam to eight.
The police are probing three channels — Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema — for inflating the figures by directing the sample households to keep these channels on.
Police also issued fresh summons to four employees of Republic TV asking them to appear on Wednesday, saying they have not produced the documents asked for. The notice said, “Reasonable suspicion exists that you have committed a cognisable offence.”
A police team led by assistant police inspector Sachin Waze on Tuesday arrested Dinesh Vishwakarma from near the city airport and Ramji Verma from Worli. Both had been on the run since the police registered a case in the matter.
Earlier, police arrested Vishal Bhandari, a former relationship manager of Hansa Research, who took money from various representatives of channels and paid households to rig the people meters installed by Hansa on behalf of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).
Police said it has now transpired that Vishwakarma was the mastermind who conspired with former employees like Bhandari and another arrested accused, Vinay Tripathi. Verma used to give money to arrested accused Umesh Mishra, who then asked households to watch Republic TV, police said.
The four Republic TV officials to whom police have issued fresh summons are CFO Shiva Sundaram, COO Priya Mukherjee, executive editor Niranjan Narayan Swamy and distributor Ghanshyam Singh.
In the notice issued under Section 91of the Criminal Procedure Code, police said they want to question the officials on some documents purportedly belonging to the Hansa Research group, which were aired on October 10. Police in the notice said, “You are directed to provide the said documents but till date you have deliberately avoided to comply with legal mandate… it is evident that after recording your statement on October 14, you had influenced other witnesses by discussing and analysing the contents and process of ongoing investigations publicly… it is revealed that there are grounds to question you to ascertain facts, and reasonable suspicion exists that you have committed cognizable offence and therefore you are directed to remain present on October 21.”

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