THE MUMBAI Police crime branch on Wednesday said two more television channels had come under the scanner for alleged manipulation of television rating points (TRP) after two persons arrested in connection with an ongoing probe in the matter claimed to have been paid by them. Of the two channels, police said, one is a Hindi news channel and the other a Marathi entertainment channel.
Two former employees of Hansa Research Group, Ramji Verma and Dinesh Vishwakarma, were arrested in connection with the ‘TRP scam’ on Tuesday. The two men, along with Umesh Mishra (32), arrested earlier, have been remanded in police custody for three days. As per the remand report submitted before the court, questioning of Verma and Vishwakarma revealed that they were paid by two channels to ask panel homes – where Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) meters or BAR-O-meters are attached to TV sets to measure TRPs – to watch their channels.
An officer said, “We are investigating the role of these channels and depending on evidence we find, we will decide whether they are to be charged or not.” Sources said police will also write to BARC to find out if there was any unusual activity on the two channels.
Police, meanwhile, have added IPC sections (174, 179, 201 and 204) related to not responding to an order by a public servant, refusing to answer public servant authorised to question and destruction of evidence to the FIR in the ongoing probe into the ‘TRP scam’.
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