India

TRP case: Mumbai police make sixth arrest from Virar

NEW DELHI: Mumbai Police on Friday made a sixth arrest in the TRP scam case when it apprehended one Umesh Mishra from Virar.
The arrest came a day after the Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) on Thursday paused its weekly rating for all news channels for the next three months.
Earlier this week, Mumbai Police Crime Branch had arrested Vinay Tripathi, a former employee of Hansa Research Group from Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur. Tripathi was the fifth person to be arrested in the case.
The other four people arrested by the Mumbai police are – Vishal Bhandari, 20, former employee of Hansa; Bompalli Rao alias Sanjiv Rao, 44 (on October 6); Shirish Shetty, owner of Fakt Maratha; and Narayan Sharma of Box Cinema (on October 9).
Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh on October 8 announced it had busted a scam to manipulate TRP ratings and boost advertising revenues by Republic TV and two Marathi channels namely, Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi.
As per Mumbai Police, families, including those in slums, were paid Rs 400 to Rs 500 a month to keep the 3 channels switched on to manipulate the TRPs.
Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) gave the contract to install 1,800 barometers in Mumbai to monitor TRPs to a company called Hansa Research.
Hansa filed a police complaint against some ex-employees who misused data on households where TRP monitoring systems were installed. So far, Mumbai Police has recorded statements of Republic Group CEO Vikas Khanchandani, Republic TV CFO Shiva Sundaram, COO Hersh Bhandari & executive editor Niranjan Narayanswami; Hansa CEO Praveen Nijhar.

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