TRP scam: 2 ex-employees of Hansa Research Group arrested by Mumbai PoliceUpdated: Oct 21, 2020, 00:19 IST
Mumbai Police’s crime branch has arrested two former employees of Hansa Research Group Private Limited on Tuesday in connection with the television rating points (TRP) scam.
The arrested accused have been identified as Ramji Dudhnath Verma, 41, and Dinesh Pannalal Vishwakarma,37.
Verma worked with the group as its relationship manager from 2013 to 2015 and was arrested from Worli, said a crime branch officer.
Vishwakarma was arrested on Tuesday evening from Mumbai airport for allegedly paying money to Umesh Mishra – who the police had arrested previously – for paying viewers to watch Republic TV, said officers. Vishwakarma was the team leader of other former Hansa employees Vishal Bhandhari, Vinay Tripathi and others who have been arrested in the case earlier.
Hansa Research Group’s chief executive officer (CEO) Pravin Nijhara was also questioned by the police and asked to give the details of former employees of the firm.
Eight people have been arrested by the Mumbai Police in the scam, which allegedly involves bribing homeowners whose TV viewing is monitored to ensure that certain channels get higher ratings. The ratings are a key influencer of advertiser preferences while placing commercials. The police claim this is a multi-crore scam.
Meanwhile, crime branch officers have recorded the statements of Milan Ganatra, managing director of Ebix Cash Technology, over the issue pertaining to the sponsorship of Republic TV.
Crime branch has now summoned three Republic TV employees, including the news channel’s chief financial officer (CFO) S Sundaram, executive editor Niranjan Narayan Swamy and distribution head Ghansham Singh on Wednesday to record their statements in the case, while the channel’s COO Priya Mukharjee has been summoned on Thursday.