Mumbai: Republic TV’s executive editor Niranjan Narayanswamy and senior executive editor Abhishek Kapoor appeared Wednesday before the Mumbai crime branch. The top honchos of Republic TV were asked to record their statements in the fake TRP racket case.
Narayanswamy reached the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) office at 12.00 noon. Kapoor, who is based in Delhi, reached around 4.00pm, a crime branch official said. ‘Republic TV’ had aired a document October 10 which purportedly belonged to ‘Hansa Research Group’.
The summons was issued Tuesday to Narayanswamy and Kapoor. It 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 ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a complaint through ‘Hansa Research Group’. BARC alleged 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 channels – ‘Box Cinema’ and ‘Fakt Marathi’ – manipulated TRP for better advertisement revenue. Republic TV rubbished Singh’s claims.
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