The Editors Guild of India has come in support of Republic TV after Mumbai Police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against journalists of the media house on Friday. Republic TV is also being probed for alleged manipulation of Television Rating Points (TRP).
The guild said that while it doesn't wish to influence probe by police, victimisation of journalists should immediately stop.
Here is the full statement of the Editors Guild of India:
Earlier on Friday, the NM Joshi Marg police registered an FIR against four journalists of Republic TV for allegedly defaming Mumbai Police and causing 'disaffection' in its ranks.
The FIR names four employees of Republic TV-- anchor and deputy news editor Shivani Gupta, anchor and senior associate editor Sagarika Mitra, deputy editor Shawan Sen and executive editor Niranjan Narayanswami, along with the editorial staff and newsroom in-charge for the airing of the report in question and others.
The FIR was lodged by Police Sub-Inspector Shashikant Pawar of Special Branch I, in which he named the accused for airing a report on Thursday evening against Commissioner of Police Parambir Singh, which claimed that senior officers were revolting against him. The Republic TV report had claimed the city police chief was "hell-bent on tarnishing the image of Mumbai Police single-handedly' and 'rebellion is brewing among the Mumbai Police itself which is, of course, a matter of ... institutional credibility".
Mumbai Police is also probing an alleged TRP scam, claiming that three channels, including Arnab Goswami-headed Republic Media Network, were allegedly influencing the TRP numbers. The Republic has denied the allegations.
Mumbai Police had registered a case in the TRP scam and summoned Republic TV's chief financial officer S Sundaram for investigation. The police claims that three channels including Republic TV manipulated the TRP.
The racket came to light when BARC, an organization which measures TRP, filed a complaint in this regard through Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd, the police had said.
Police on Saturday added Republic TV's owners/proprietors and/or any related person as the wanted accused along with two other channels – News Nation and MahaMovie.
Mumbai Police have made over nine arrests in the TRP scam, including former employees of Hansa Research Group and heads of two channels.