Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar gave an interview to the Editor of OpIndia Hindi, Ajeet Bharti, on Monday where he answered questions on a host of issues. In one of the more significant moments during the interview, the Union Minister condemned the manner in which the Mumbai Police has been handling the investigation into the alleged TRP scam.
Prakash Javadekar said, “If the TRP scam has indeed occurred, then it is wrong and should be investigated. But the name of one surfaces in the complaint, charges are established against the other, what is this? What Mumbai Police is doing, no one will endorse this. The Editors Guild and everyone else has opposed this.” “I feel that persecuting journalism in such a manner for political interests is wrong,” the Union Minister added.
It is pertinent to note here that the chain of events began with Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh accusing Republic TV in the TRP scam even though the Hansa Research report and the FIR filed on the basis of it named India Today. It was after Param Bir Singh went public that the Hansa report surfaced putting the Mumbai Police in a tight spot.
Subsequently, by the 11th of October, Republic TV CEO and CFO were questioned for a total of over 20 hours. The questions largely included how Republic TV managed to acquire the Hansa Report that had implicated India Today and not Republic TV. Essentially, the report that busted holes in the claims made by the Mumbai Police and the Mumbai Police Commissioner. Their journalist Pradeep Bhandari was also summoned and booked in non-bailable offences. He later got anticipatory bail.
On the 16th of October, witnesses suddenly emerged levelling accusations against Republic TV. We have reported on the 23rd of October on a conversation that shows witnesses are being coerced into naming Republic TV in the TRP scam.