The Mumbai Police Commissioner in his press meet had not mentioned India Today’s name, while levelling allegations against Republic TV, and two Marathi channels.

Stylised image of Arnab Goswami raising his fist in the air
news Media Friday, October 09, 2020 - 08:44

The 'fake TRP scam' took a new turn with the Mumbai police confirming that the First Information Report filed on October 6 had a witness mentioning that he was offered money to view India Today channel. In his press meet on Thursday that had created a flutter, the Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had however not mentioned India Today's name. The FIR was bandied by Republic TV Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in his 9 pm debate and he questioned why the Mumbai Police Commissioner named his channel in the press meet and not India Today.

Responding to this, Joint Commissioner of Police Milind Bharambe said, "In the FIR, there is certainly the name of India Today that is mentioned. However, it is the accused that we have caught and the witnesses that we have recorded statements of they have not really substantiated the name of India Today as of date. However, they have specifically mentioned names of Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema. As per evidence collected by the accused and the witnesses, our investigation is proceeding. The investigation is completely open. It is not that we have closed investigation on any particular channel. As per the evidence brought before the investigation team, the investigation will proceed."

The channel war played out late into the night on Thursday as both India Today and Republic played out interviews and produced documents.

Though the FIR on October 6 mentions Kashinath Deokar, a 55-year-old person saying that he was offered money to watch India Today, a statement recorded of another witness (57-year-old) on October 7 says that someone approached him to watch Republic TV.

While many have questioned how the Mumbai police found enough evidence in a day to call a press conference, police insist that they have enough witnesses to proceed with an investigation. 

NDTV's Sreenivasan Jain published a Twitter thread pointing out that the Commissioner committed a gaffe in his press meet by not mentioning the channel named in the FIR.

Also read: Republic TV was fixing TV ratings says Mumbai police, two other channel owners held

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