Sena targets Republic TV over so-called TRP scam

Sanjay Raut

Mumbai : Amidst the “TRP scam,” revealed by the Mumbai police on Thursday, now the Shiv Sena is trying to politicize the issue to teach Republic TV, its known bête noire, a lesson. The Shiv Sena spokesman and Rajya Sabha member, Sanjay Raut is now in action and defended the Mumbai Police for its action against the news channel. He categorically dismissed the allegations that the city police force acted in a vindictive manner in “busting a racked” allegedly involved in manipulating the TRP.

Praising the Mumbai police, Raut, a known critic of Republic TV said that the capital police took a courageous step to unravel this scam. “This is just a beginning…Everything will be unravelled soon,” he stated.

Describing it as a scam of Rs 30,000-crore, he asked, “why are people quiet about it?’’ The Sena spokesman went on to ask, “Who is behind all this? Where has the money come?” Calling Mumbai Police a “professional police force’’, Raut said that it did not take any ”action out of revenge or vindictiveness.”

Hansa, which is responsible for the maintenance of over 3000 parameters across the country, including around 2000 in Mumbai, has allegedly been tampering with the TRP. The Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said that ratings by BARC, an organisation under the Ministry of Information and Broadcast (I&B), had been manipulated. The police said that Hansa has misused the data, adding that sample houses, where barometers had been installed to monitor ratings, were paid to watch certain TV channels. “We found three channels including, Republic TV, and two Marathi channels — Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi, of rigging TRPs,” claims Singh.

On the other hand, the Republic TV launched a virulent attack on Mumbai Police Commissioner Singh, after the latter announced at a press conference on Thursday that Republic TV and two other channels were allegedly involved in a TRP fixing scam.

An enraged Arnab Goswami, the promoter and prime anchor of the news channel, attacked the Sena and Mumbai police for allegedly maligning his channel and claimed “global support” for its cause.

The channel claimed that the report from the rating agency, BARC, which the Mumbai Police had cited, did not mention Republic TV and that there was an alleged conspiracy. It also claimed that the news channel had a copy of the FIR where name of another news channel was allegedly mentioned and that channel was given a “clean chit” subsequently by the Mumbai police commissioner.