MUMBAI: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday defended the Mumbai Police and categorically dismissed the allegations that the city police force acted in a ”vindictive manner” in busting a racked allegedly involved in manipulating the Television Rating Points (TRP).
“Mumbai Police took a courageous step to unravel this scam. This is just a beginning…Everything will be unraveled soon,” the Shiv Sena leader said. Sharing more details, the Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP said, “The TRP scam is worth Rs 30,000 crore and why are people quiet about it?’’
Raut went on to ask, “Who is behind all this? Where has the money come?” Calling Mumbai Police a “professional police force’’, Raut said that it did not take any ”action out of revenge or vindictiveness.”
However, he came down heavily on a section of media that allegedly targeted the Maha Vijas Aghadi government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his family.
Reactions from Raut came a day after the Mumbai Police claimed to have busted a Television Rating Points manipulation racket. It also tightened the noose around ”Hansa”, an agency associated with the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), which calculates the TRP.
Mumbai Police later issued a statement on the TRP scam saying, “The complainant had mentioned the name of a channel in her application. When we began the investigation, no evidence was found against that channel. However, we found three channels including, Republic TV, and two Marathi channels — Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi, of rigging TRPs.”
“Two people related to Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi channels have been arrested, while an investigation against the third channel, i.e. Republic TV, is underway,” read the statement.
Hansa, which is responsible for the maintenance of over 3000 parameters across the country, including around 2000 in Mumbai, has allegedly been tampering with the TRP.
In a press conference, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said that ratings by BARC, an organisation under the Ministry of Information and Broadcast (I&B), had been manipulated. The police said that Hansa has misused the data, adding that sample houses, where barometers had been installed to monitor ratings, were paid to watch certain TV channels.
Notably, TRP is a tool to judge which TV programmes are viewed the most and also indicates the viewers’ choice and popularity of a particular channel.