Mumbai, October 8: A fake BARC TRP ratings racket in the city was busted, with Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh on Thursday confirming the arrest of employees of two local channels. The police chief claimed the involvement of three channels in the TRP fraud, with one of them allegedly being "Republic TV". SSR Case: ‘Those Who Defamed Mumbai Police Should Apologise’, Says Shiv Sena.

Singh, while addressing the press, said the select-households which are part of the sample size to determine the Television Rating Points were paid to keep certain channels on. Around "2,000 households" were paid between "Rs 400 to Rs 500" to view these channels, he added.

Apart from Republic TV, two other channels named in the alleged TRP manipulation racket are Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi - two local Marathi language channels. According to the Police Commissioner, ex-employees of Hansa Research were also allegedly involved in the racket.

Singh confirmed that two arrested individuals, who are linked to the two local channels, have alleged the involvement of more individuals in the racket.

"Two people have been arrested in connection with false TRP racket. The name of Republic channel is coming out in investigation. It's directors, promoters or employees are likely to be involved. We are in process of investigating them," he said.

"Republic TV and two other channels manipulated TRPs. No matter how senior the individual is in the channel, they will be questioned. It doesn’t matter if they are directors, promoters or employees of the channel," Singh added.

Watch: Mumbai Police Chief Alleging Involvement of 3 Channels in TRP Fraud

The Mumbai Police, he said, would also be investigate whether the TRPs were manipulated to promote fake news or spread a propaganda. The central agencies would also be informed about the probe conducted by the city police so far, Singh added.

"We have shared this report with the Government of India and the I&B Ministry. We will be informing other agencies as well," the Police Commissioner told reporters.

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, while reacting to the press conference of Mumbai Police chief, said the probe so far has exposed some of the media personnel who claim to be top journalists.

"This is a serious question mark on those people who call themselves, journalists but under the garb of journalism - are running political agendas of certain political parties, to push a certain political narrative," she said.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 08, 2020 04:35 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website