Mumbai Police and its city crime branch made the 15th arrest in the fake TRP scandal that had broken out earlier this year. Days after they arrested BARC COO Romil Ramgarhia, they arrested Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC)’s former CEO Partho Dasgupta on the 25th of December 2020.
According to the police, Dasgupta has been arrested from Pune Rural which is under the jurisdiction of Raigad police station. While he was lodged in Taloja jail, the Mumbai Police held another press conference where they alleged that Partho Dasgupta had taken money from Arnab Goswami to rig TRP in the favour of Republic TV. The police had claimed that they found a watch, some silver jewellery and claimed that Arnab Goswami had given him roughly Rs 30 lacs.
Today, the daughter of the former BARC CEO took to Twitter to appeal to the Prime Minister to save her father’s life, who is lodged in Taloja jail. Pratyusha Dasgupta, the daughter of former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta, has appealed to Prime Minister Modi to save her father’s life. She said that Mr. Dasgupta was admitted to the hospital on the 15th of January in an unconscious state. He is currently in judicial custody over the TRP scam. She said that she got a call at 3:00 AM and immediately, they rushed to JJ Hospital.
Pratyusha and her mother found Mr. Dasgupta lying in the emergency room with not even a bed-sheet covering him. There, he was incoherent and unable to express himself properly. His blood sugar levels had shot to alarming levels, 516 to be precise, she said. She adds that Mr. Dasgupta suffers “from a number of serious ailments for many years, including diabetes, hypertension, and ankylosing spondylitis, an auto immune disorder.”
She concludes her message to Prime Minister Modi saying, “My plea to you, sir, is to please save my father’s life by allowing proper medical treatment in a reputed hospital at our expense. Without intervention at the highest levels, I am now fearful for his life.”
OpIndia reached out to the family of Mr Partho Dasgupta to understand what really happened and the extent of the alleged physical and mental torture suffered by Mr Patho Dasgupta.
Alarmingly, OpIndia was told by the family that Mr Dasgupta was in a critical condition since the afternoon of 15th January 2021 and was taken to JJ Hospital. However, the Taloja Jail officials did not give any information about him to the Navi Mumbai Police and hence, the family was not contacted about his condition for almost 15 hours. Afternoon, when Mr Dasgupta was taken to JJ Hospital, a bail hearing was underway at the sessions court where his daughter and wife both were present.
Speaking to OpIndia, Pratyusha questioned why the authorities did not inform the family for so long while Dasgupta was unconscious in the hospital. She suspects that the authorities hid information about his critical health at the time because his health condition would be valid ground for bail and the police did not want the information to be revealed during the hearing itself.
Breaking down, Pratyusha narrated the abysmal condition in which her father was found. She said that when they finally reached the hospital in the wee hours of the morning on 16th, her father had no blanket over him and was semi-conscious. Further, he did not even have a pillow only making worse his spondylitis issue.
She said that while in the hospital, the staff asked them why they did not reach the hospital earlier, since he was admitted in critical condition, with his sugar level over 500, in the afternoon on 15th itself. On being asked, the authorities said that they could not get in touch with the family since they did not have their contact numbers.
According to Pratyusha, this explanation does not add up. She revealed that for the past 1 week, she had been repeatedly emailing the Taloja jail authorities to allow a video call with Partho Dasgupta, something allowed for accused in judicial custody lodged in Taloja. However, she received no response from the prison despite repeated attempts. In these emails, she had mentioned her number clearly.
Here are the emails that were sent by Pratyusha to Taloja jail.
As can be seen, three emails were sent by the family of Mr Partho Dasgupta to the Taloja jail authorities – on the 8th of January, 11th of January and 15th of January. The family was begging, given his health ailments, to speak to him as they are legally permitted to do. However, the jail authorities did not respond.
It is also pertinent to note that in these emails, the phone number of his daughter was explicitly mentioned and thus, it is suspicious for the jail authorities to claim that they did not know how to contact the family.
‘He said police paid someone inside Taloja Jail to torture Partho till he names Arnab Goswami’: Samrajni Dasgupta, wife of Partho Dasgupta
While speaking to OpIndia, the daughter broke down and we then spoke to Mrs Samrajni Dasgupta, the wife of Partho Dasgupta. She said that her daughter was at the hospital till the afternoon of 16th January 2021 while she had gone to the lawyer. The family has alleged that they were only allowed to meet Partho for a while after which, he was hurriedly wheeled into the ICU. After that, the family has no information about the condition of Dasgupta. The authorities have allegedly told the family that since Dasgupta is an inmate, his condition and information about his whereabouts cannot be divulged to the family.
Breaking down while talking, Samrajni said that Partho Dasgupta was being used as a pawn and being framed in a case of political vendetta or ‘whatever this is’. “I feel helpless, I don’t know anyone, he is on his death bed”, she said while sobbing.
Making stunning allegations, she said that when she did meet Dasgupta in the hospital, he told her that he was being tortured in jail physically and mentally. Further, she said that in his parched voice, Partho said that the Mumbai Police was paying someone inside Taloja Jail to torture him mentally and physically to implicate Arnab Goswami and Republic TV.
“This will not be over till you name Arnab Goswami”, Samrajni claimed Partho said about the individual being paid to torture him.
On being asked whether this person was an inmate or a jail official, Samrajni said, “Partho was in a terrible condition and he could only tell me this much”.
While they were being “thrown out” from his room, Samrajni says that Partho cried out, “Don’t leave me.. if they take me back to Taloja Jail, they will kill me. They will say everything is ok with me and take me back and kill me”.
Commenting on the allegations made by the Mumbai Police about Partho Dashupta fixing TRP for Republic TV after accepting a bribe of Rs 30 lacs, she said that her husband earned Rs 4 crores a year. “Does it even make sense to you that he would sell himself for Rs 30 lacs after earning Rs 4 crores a year?”, she said sobbing.
“He is on his death bed, they will kill him! Please help me save him,” she said.
Family of ex-BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta file petition in Bombay High Court
Samrajni Dasgupta has now filed a petition in the Bombay High Court detailing the mental and physical torture being suffered by Partho and his critical health condition.
In the affidavit, she says that when she reached the hospital, there was “blood all over the stretcher” in which Partho was made to lie down and he was breathless with ice-cold feet. She said that even the doctors ignored her request to give him urgent medical attention. She further says in the affidavit that it was only after a hue and cry was created was Partho taken to the ICU at 6:30 AM on 16th, while he was at the hospital since the afternoon of 15th January. She claims that she has still not been informed about his prognosis or health status thereafter.
Saying that his life is in real and imminent danger, she urges the courts for immediate medical attention to Partho Dasgupta, her husband. She says that since since the doctors at PD Hinduja Hospital are aware of his ailments, if he is not shifted to the hospital, she “fears he may lose his life”. She ends the prayer by saying that his present medical condition is due to the continuous physical and mental abuse he has been subjected to in Taloja jail.
Fake TRP scam
In October, Mumbai Police had made some sensational claims against some TV channels saying that they were manipulating TRP ratings. In a press conference, Mumbai Police commissioner had said that three TV channels, including Republic TV, were involved in manipulating viewership data of BARC by paying those households where Bar-o-meters, the devices that track TV viewership, are installed.
The police had specifically mentioned that Hansa Research had filed a complaint with the police. Hansa Group is an organisation that regulated the devices to record TRP for BARC. 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.
During the investigation, several evidence and witnesses came forward that alleged Mumbai Police have been intimidating them to speak against Republic TV, including Hansa officials. Hansa has also complained that they are being harassed by the Mumbai Police to give statements against Republic TV.