Photo: Pexels/Facebook
Photo: Pexels/Facebook

The city crime branch, which is investigating the TRP manipulation racket, has said that names of two more channels have come up in their investigation.

Meanwhile, Dinesh Vishwakarma and Ramji Verma, who were arrested on Tuesday, have said in their statements that they were accepting money from agents for rigging TRPs of News Nation and Maha Movie. The money was later paid to households were barometers had been installed and which had been asked to watch the channels in question, said a crime branch officer close to investigation.

On Wednesday, Vishwakarma and Verma were produced before the court which remanded them to crime branch custody till October 23.

The police on Wednesday also added several sections -- of dishonouring police summons and that of destruction of evidence. It is understood that several people who have been issued summons in the case did not appear before the police; therefore, the sections in question have been added; these people included personnel of Republic media network and others, added the officer.

The statement of executive editor of Republic TV Niranjan Swamy was also recorded on Wednesday; he was quizzed regarding a show in which the alleged Hansa report had been aired. Swamy was also questioned on the charge of allegedly influencing witnesses and for divulging the investigation details on the channel.

Going into specifics, the crime branch officer, after recording his statement on October 14, Swamy had shared the questions when he was interviewed by the channel.

According to the police, Hansa has filed a civil suit against Republic for airing the document and said it wasn’t a report. This was an internal document which had not been approved by the department heads, said the police.

Republic TV’s CFO Shiva Sundaram also appeared before the investigators for first time on Wednesday and submitted certain documents; his statement will continue to be recorded on Thursday.

On October 8, the Mumbai police had arrested two ex-employees of Hansa and owners of two Marathi channels, Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi, and claimed to have unearthed a TRP manipulation racket.

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Free Press Journal