Fake TRP: Senior editor of Republic TV questioned

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 and left around 7.30 pm after recording his statement, said a police official.
Kapoor, who arrived from Delhi, reached the CIU office around 4 pm, but his statement was not recorded and he was asked to come on Thursday, the offical added.
Republic TV on October 10 had aired a document which 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 ratings 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 being 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.