Mumbai police arrest Distribution Head of Republic TV, summons COO Priya Mukherjee, After Arnab freed by Court

The Mumbai Police’s crime branch department has summoned Republic TV’s chief operating officer (COO) Priya Mukherjee. She was asked to appear before Mumbai Police headquarters in the fake TRP case.

Mukherjee was summoned in connection with the Ghanshyam Singh case, said police. She was questioned for several hours. For your information, Ghanshyam Singh is the Assistant Vice President and Distribution Head of Republic Media Network.

Ghanshyam Singh (44) was arrested last week on charges of distributing money to other accused in the scam in order to increase the channel’s TRPs. Singh was presented before the Holiday Court on Friday (November 13, 2020), after which he was sent to judicial custody till 16 November.

The police have launched an investigation into the case and claimed that their investigation had revealed that certain cable operators were allegedly “paid” to show the news channel on more than one logical channel number on their cable networks to boost TRPs.

“The probe has indicated that the sanction for the same came from senior officials at the channel. Singh’s further custody is required to ascertain who these officials are,” the remand application read. The court has extended his police custody till November 16.

The officials have also recorded statements of 33 households out of 83 households that were managed by Bhandari where barometers were installed and television content was monitored. Last week, the Crime Branch had named three channels Fakt Marathi, Republic TV and Box TV for rigging the TRPs by manipulating it.

On Thursday, the police had arrested four persons, including owners of Marathi channels Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema, in the case. 

Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh made allegations against Republic TV stating that the channel was involved in manipulating TV viewership data. The racket came to light when the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), an organisation that measures TRPs, filed a complaint in this regard through Hansa Research Group, the police said.

Meanwhile, COO Mukherjee has approached the Mumbai Police, stating that she is in Bangalore and is awaiting the Supreme Court’s order on the channel’s petition. The channel’s chief finance officer Shiva Sundaram has told the police that he would join investigations after October 14 as his mother is unwell.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.