The city crime branch investigating the Television Rating Point (TRP) racket has found a diary allegedly maintained by accused Vishal Bhandari who was first arrested in the case for paying households to watch particular channels. According to the police, the diary is likely to be key to the investigation which will reveal how many households Bhandari was managing to manipulate TRPs.
Meanwhile, the four accused including Bhadari , ex employee of Hansa Research Group and Bompalli Rao, 45 along with two owners of Marathi channel Narayan Sharma, 47 and Shirish Shetty, 44 Were produced before the court on Tuesday. While demanding extension to their custody, police said that they need to interrogate them face to face with the fifth accused Vinay Tripathi, 30 who was arrested on Monday from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh. He is likely to come to the city by Wednesday.
Hansa Research Group - a market research company hired by Broadcast Audience Research Council India (BARC) to maintain and fetch viewership data from barometers installed at homes - have also been issued summons. With arrest of four accused Mumbai police on last week claimed to have unearth TRP manipulation racket and accused Republic TV and two Marathi channels Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi of indulged in TRP manipulation. The arrested accused included owners of Marathi channels and two former employees of Hansa Research Group According to the policee, the households were sampling meters called barometers were installed to calculater TRP were allegedly payed to watch a particular channel in order to Increase their TRP. The households were paid Rs 400-500 monthly, to watch a particular channel. There are 2,000 barometers installed in Mumbai to monitor TRPs.