After it emerged that India Today has been named in the FIR, Arnab Goswami on Thursday demanded the resignation of Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
After it came to light that India Today has been mentioned multiple times in the FIR over which Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had attempted to implicate Republic TV, Republic Media Network’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Thursday demanded the resignation of the Mumbai CP. Observing that Singh had been totally exposed, he stressed that Republic TV was not even mentioned in the FIR copy accessed by the Network. Arnab noted that India Today was the channel for which financial compensation was allegedly provided to gain viewership.
He expressed dismay that the Mumbai Police Commissioner had closed the investigation against India Today and instead, addressed a presser accusing Republic TV. Moreover, Arnab stated that the main witness in the case has gone on record and named India Today. Earlier in the day, he announced that Republic TV will file a criminal defamation case against Param Bir Singh.
Here is Arnab’s full statement:
“The Mumbai Police Commissioner has been completely and totally exposed. A copy of the FIR in the TRP case mentions India Today as the channel to be investigated. In fact, India Today has been mentioned multiple times in the FIR. There is not a single mention of Republic TV. Now, the main witness in the case has also gone on record and named India Today as the English channel for which financial compensation was allegedly provided to gain viewership. The complaint against India Today was made on October 6. Param Bir Singh closes the investigation against India Today within 16 hours and does a press conference against Republic TV. Now, that the FIR is out and the critical witness is on record, and the Mumbai Police Commissioner has been caught red-handed. He must, in the interest of morality, quit.”
India Today named in FIR
Republic TV accessed the FIR filed by the Mumbai Police on the complaint of Nitin Deokar, the Deputy General Manager of the Hansa Research Group Private Limited. This company is responsible for installing and maintaining the Bar-O-Meter of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). Arrested by the Mumbai Police, Vishal Bhandari- the Relationship Manager of the Hansa Research Group Private Limited has revealed that India Today and other channels instigated him and offered money to panel homes, where Bar-O-Meter is installed.
As per the complainant, some persons try to increase the ratings by making panel homes watch certain channels against payment of money. Furthermore, Deokar revealed that a person named Vinay asked Bhandari in November 2019 to approach 5 homes and ask them to watch India Today daily for two hours. As per Bhandari’s own confession to the BARC Vigilance team, Vinay paid him Rs.5000 as commission for distributing Rs.1000 among 5 panel homes. An audit inquiry by BARC confirmed that 5 households were indeed bribed to watch India Today daily for a minimum of two hours from November 2019 to May 2020.