Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh addressed the press earlier today and revealed that the police is looking into a 'TRP scam' where channels were tampering with BARC data to boost their ratings.
Owners of the channels Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema have been taken into custody while an investigation is going on about Republic TV.
This follows an arrest of two ex-employees of Hansa. Hansa has been working with BARC and sharing data of television channels. The arrested have been accused of going to households whose data is being shared and asking them to run channels all day even if they are outside the house, claimed Singh during the press address. He added that there have been instances where English channels were running in households that were uneducated.
There are 2,000 meteres installed in Mumbai and information about these households is treated as confidential information. The scam focusses on how these households were paid Rs 400-500 to watch certain channels and keep them switched on even when no one was watching.
In an interview with NDTV
, Singh stated that complaint was filed by Hansa itself and the Mumbai Police is not taking the role of the measurers.
The person who has been arrested has given information about ex-colleagues at the agency who did something similar with Hansa and BARC. Two people have been arrested and will be in custody till 9 October. There are more people who are being tracked from and outside of Mumbai, informed Singh.
From one of the arrested people, the police has seized Rs 20 lakh from his account and a further Rs 8.5 lakhs in cash from his bank locker.
According to an analytical report submitted, Republic TV has suspicious ratings. Singh added that people have admitted that they were paid to operate Republic TV and hence an investigation is currently under way.