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Policemen: The cash passed monthly from the channels to the TRP suspect | India News

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MUMBAI: Mumbai police, who are investigating allegations that Republic TV and two Marathi channels bribed households with meter bars so they could inflate viewership ratings, said they have found a larger money trail than previously known. was initially suspicious, linking the channels to a key suspect who is under arrest.
There are transactions that show the funds flowing to the bank account of Bamopalli Rao Mistry, an arrested defendant, every month from the channels under investigation and also to some people, said a crime branch investigator.
He said police will now summon senior channel officials and others to question them about the TRP scam. “We have looked at the financial transaction reports from Mistry’s bank account and found that each month more than Rs 30 lakh is collectively transferred to Mistry’s account from various people / channels.”
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by Assistant Commissioner Shashank Sandbhor and Assistant Inspector Sachin Waze are investigating the case. They have so far arrested six people, including three former employees of the Hansa Research Group: Vishal Bhandari, Vinay Tripathy and Umesh Mishra. Hansa had a contract with the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) to track audience response with bar-o-meters installed in 44,000 homes across the country. Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh has also confirmed that three witnesses have made confessional statements to the police saying they were paid to watch Republic TV.
“Vishal was responsible for 83 bar-o-meters installed in homes, and Mishra and Tripathi, while working with Hansa, were responsible for around 100 barometers each. Mishra and Tripathi left Hansa in 2017. After leaving work, they joined Mistry and were working for him, ”said an investigating officer.
Mistry, who used to work in film production houses, Fakht Marathi channel owner Shirish Shetty and Box Cinema owner Narayan Sharma are the other defendants in police custody.
Previously, investigators had said that money was transferred to Mistry’s account every two months, but now it appears that the flow of funds was higher. “We have his bank account details and we find transfers to Mistry’s account every month. The collective amount is high, “said the officer.
Speaking about Mistry’s connections to television channels, the officer claimed that he frequently visited the offices of various channels. “He has been receiving money for the past two years and is involved in manipulating TRP. Most of the money transferred to his account would be distributed to others for delivery to households who agreed to watch specific channels, ”said the officer. Although the details of the Mistry account are being studied by the crime branch and economic crimes wing officers, the details of the transaction will be examined by a forensic auditor, he added.

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