Thuglak editor S Gurumurthy criticized Mumbai police on Saturday for reports that DCP Nandkumar Thakur investigating the TRP scheme was transferred on October 16. PDD. According to the information, DCP told reporters at an informal meeting that there was no evidence against Republic TV in the case of TRP. According to Gurumurthy, it was necessary to transfer the investigation outside of Maharashtra or to have a SIT investigation monitored by the court.
If this story is true, the Republic TV investigation by the Mumbai police should be transferred from Maharashtra or by an SIT under court supervision https://t.co/uKYOVWgv3Z
– S Gurumurthy (@sgurumurthy) October 17, 2020
According report published by Op India, Thakur was transferred to the Highway Police Department just 6 months after he was appointed Crime Branch PDD. The Op India report suggests that an informal meeting with journalists took place at police headquarters on October 15, where Thakur reportedly told them that Republic TV was not charged in the case of TRP fraud. The officer was reportedly withdrawn within 24 hours of this meeting because Param Bir Singh reportedly learned of Thakur’s remarks. In addition, the reports add that both journalists and their respective editors have been informed that nothing that Thakur said is true or reportable. Thakur has also investigated the social media ‘fake followers’ scheme.
What is the alleged TRP scam?
While the Mumbai Police Commissioner ran a press conference on October 8 alleging the detonation of the ‘TRP manipulation’ scheme, the FIR filed on October 6, 2020, shed light on the actual sequence of events. The FIR made no mention of Republic TV, Republic Bharat, Republic World or any affiliate of the Republic Media Network. It was the arrest of Vishal Bhandar, the former relationship manager at Hansa Research Group Private Limited, which led to a complaint lodged with the Mumbai Police by Nitin Deokar, the deputy general manager of the same company.
This company is supposedly responsible for the installation and maintenance of the BARC Bar-O-Meter. According to Vishal Bhandari’s own confession to the BARC Vigilance team, a person named Vinay allegedly paid him Rs.5000 as a commission for the distribution of Rs.1000 among 5 panel houses, where the Bar-O-Meter is installed. A BARC audit investigation confirmed that 5 families were actually bribed to watch India Today daily for a minimum of two hours from November 2019 to May 2020. However, interestingly, the Mumbai Police press conference called Republic TV. On October 10, the Republic Media Network accessed the 7-page report by Hansa Research that did not mention the Republic Media Network or any of its affiliates once.