On Wednesday, Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh said that Republic TV and two Marathi channels were nixing their data to generate ‘fake TRPs’. This involved distorting apparatus used by BARC to rate television channels.
To measure TRPs, BARC has installed 2000 barometers in Mumbai to monitor TRPs which is strictly confidential.
The confidential contract was given to a company called Hansa Research which has filed the complaint against some former employees who misused the data on households where the TRP monitoring systems are installed. The investigation is being led by ACP Shashank of Crime Branch’s CIU which is being supervised by DCP and JCP investigation.
Hansa has stated that some current employees could also be involved in the scam. The owners of Marathi channels Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema have been arrested under Section 409 and 420 of IPC.
Hitting out, Republic TV promised to take Mumbai Police to the court.
Republic wrote, in fuller uppercase as is their wont: “MUMBAI POLICE COMMISSIONER PARAM BIR SINGH HAS MADE FALSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST REPUBLIC TV BECAUSE WE HAVE QUESTIONED HIM IN THE SUSHANT SINGH RAJPUT CASE INVESTIGATION. REPUBLIC TV WILL FILE A CRIMINAL DEFAMATION CASE AGAINST MUMBAI POLICE COMMISSIONER PARAM BIR SINGH. THERE IS NOT A SINGLE BARC REPORT THAT MENTIONS REPUBLIC TV.”
They added: “THE PEOPLE OF INDIA KNOW THE TRUTH. MR. PARAM BIR SINGH'S INVESTIGATION IN THE SUSHANT SINGH RAJPUT CASE IS UNDER A CLOUD AND THIS IS A DESPERATE MEASURE BECAUSE OF REPUBLIC TV'S REPORTAGE ON PALGHAR, THE SUSHANT SINGH RAJPUT CASE OR ANY OTHER CASE. THIS KIND OF TARGETING ONLY STRENGTHENS THE RESOLVE OF EVERYONE AT REPUBLIC TV TO PUSH FOR THE TRUTH EVEN HARDER. PARAM BIR SINGH STANDS COMPLETELY EXPOSED TODAY, SINCE BARC HAS NOT MENTIONED REPUBLIC IN ANY SINGLE COMPLAINT. HE SHOULD ISSUE AN OFFICIAL APOLOGY AND GET READY TO FACE US IN COURT.”
It's important to note that the Palghar lynching was outside Mumbai Police's jurisdiction.
Who is Hansa Research?
According to its website, Hansa Research is the largest Indian consumer insights company undertaking engagements across 77 countries.
They wrote: “With research offices across India, Singapore and the USA, Hansa Research’s infrastructure is comparable to the best in the industry. Engaging with clients across multiple sectors, with an array of packaged and customised offerings, Hansa Research focuses on innovation and value addition, to help clients make insightful decisions. Hansa Research has done some path-breaking work which have become industry standards in India e.g., Indian Readership Survey, Household Potential Index and Indian Outdoor Survey.”
It added: “With a focus on innovation, Hansa Research is a pioneer in the use of technology, whether it was Computer Aided Personal Interviews (CAPI) a decade ago or Virtual Reality based solutions today. Hansa Research has won numerous industry awards for cutting edge and actionable research.”