A day after Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh was left red-faced after he attempted to falsely implicate Republic TV and its editor-in-chief- Arnab Goswami in the “TRP scam” case, Mumbai police has upped its ante against the independent media network. In yet another brazen attempt to browbeat the news channel, the Mumbai police have now summoned its consulting editor and journalist Pradeep Bhandari for questioning.
Pertinently, Pradeep Bhandari has been leading the reportage in demand for justice in Sushant Singh Rajput death case. Yesterday, Arnab Goswami had accused Param Bir Singh of targeting his channel for relentlessly pursuing the actor’s death case, the Palghar lynching case etc. He had said that the Mumbai PC is scared about facts coming out in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case
A complaint against Bhandari has been registered at the Khar police station under Articles 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of IPC and 37(1), 135 of the Bombay Police Act, and he has been asked to appear for the investigation of the said crime.
Pradeep Bhandari says Republic TV will fight back
The journalist took to Twitter to share the news, saying that Republic TV will keep putting up a fight against the police vendetta.
Friends— Pradeep Bhandari(प्रदीप भंडारी) (@pradip103) October 9, 2020
I have been summoned by Mumbai Police for fighting for #JusticeForSSR. I will follow the law and appear as per summons. I will continue to fight for truth. @republic will continue the fight even stronger. Keep supporting us.
रोक सको तो रोक लो। #RepublicFightsBack
The ‘fake TRP scam’ exposed
The ‘fake TRP scam’ had taken a remarkable turn in less than 24 hours yesterday. Mumbai CP Param Bir Singh, in an explosive statement yesterday, accused Republic TV of ‘TRP manipulation’. In a no-holds-barred attack against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami, the Mumbai CP had claimed, that the channel had illegally paid some households to keep some channels on even if they were not at home to boost their TRP. However, by the end of the day, it was revealed that in the original FIR, Republic TV did not find a mention anywhere. In fact, it was India Today that had been named in the original FIR.
The Joint Commissioner had also admitted that it was indeed India Today that was named in the FIR.
Mumbai police shield India Today and target Republic TV
For the uninitiated, the FIR which was filed on the 6th of October 2020 had named India Today and not Republic TV. However, as soon as the FIR came into Mumbai police’s attention, without even conducting an investigation into India Today itself, they sent a notice to BARC to get the ratings of Republic TV on the 7th and on the 8th, they were convinced enough to hold a press conference implicating Republic TV.
Interestingly, in the entire 3-day span that the Mumbai Police had before going on national TV, there is no evidence of any letter to BARC to get India Today viewership details or investigate them. From the 6th of October to the 8th of October, while the FIR itself named India Today, it is Republic TV that is now mysteriously facing the ire of the Mumbai Police.
Yesterday it was sufficiently clear that Republic TV is being deviously targeted by Mumbai police. as Arnab Goswami also asserted that the police commissioner is targeting his channel because he is scared about facts coming out in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.