Republic TV has alleged that Ghanshyam Singh, assistant vice president of Distribution at the channel, was brutally tortured by the Mumbai Police while he was in their custody. In an affidavit that was filed before the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, the channel claimed that Singh was tortured brutally, physically assaulted and lashed with a ‘chakki belt’.
The channel said that on the second day of police custody, Ghanshyam Singh “was repeatedly pressured to parrot a premeditated script to self-incriminate and incriminate his network in the TRP case, but when he did not give in to the pressure tactics deployed by the Mumbai Police, he was threatened and taken to a room dressed with torture tools and lashed multiple times.”
According to the affidavit that was filed, officials of the Mumbai Police were saying “inko maaro maaro maaro” (beat him). Ghanshyam Singh was also whipped with a thick belt. He apparently cried out in pain due to the torture that was inflicted on him but the subordinates continued following the instructions of their superiors.
At another point, Ghanshyam Singh was taken to a different room where he was told by a police officer, “Aap aase nahin manoge…” (You will not obey this way) and “…Abhi batao, tum paise diye, aap mile the inse…” (Now tell us you gave him money, you met him) while referring to an individual he did not know.
As per the affidavit, a police officer told him, “…Abhi bhi nahin bologe toh humare pass aur bhi raaste hain” (If you do not tell us even now, we have more tricks up our sleeve). The affidavit says, “Mr. Singh was left with deep bruises and injury marks on his hand following the assault on him in custody. All due process was disregarded, procedural safeguards were sidelined and a horrific, horrendous and heinous exercise to assault him in custody, torture, harm and physically break him down were undertaken.”
The affidavit states, “The police officers repeatedly tried to psychologically pressurise and coerce Mr. Singh to extract a false narrative that never was in relation to the alleged TRP scam”. “While Mr. Singh maintained that there was no wrongdoing and repeatedly stated that he had not made any payment to manipulate TRPs, he was threatened by the senior police officer of the Respondent No. 3. In fact, one of the police officers intimidated Mr. Singh by saying- “humare pass doosrae raaste bhi hain… half hour later you will say… 10 days later you will,” it adds.
Ghanshyam Singh was released on bail on the 6th of December after remaining in custody of the Mumbai Police for 26 days.
Fake TRP scam
On the 8th of October, Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh held a press conference where he categorically stated that Mumbai police have been alerted about a new racket involving false television rating points (TRP). Parambir Singh had specifically mentioned that Hansa Research had filed a complaint with the police. Interestingly, in this FIR that was filed by Hansa Research, Republic TV was not mentioned even once. The channel that was mentioned several times was India Today.