TRP scam: Three Republic TV staff to be questioned today

Updated: 21 October, 2020 07:15 IST | Vishal Singh | Mumbai

Of the two arrested on Tuesday, one accused was picked up from Worli, the other from airport

Accused Vishal Bhandari's inquiry led to one of the arrests
Accused Vishal Bhandari's inquiry led to one of the arrests

The Mumbai Crime Branch has arrested two more people in connection with the TRP scam – Ramji Verma, 44, and Dinesh Vishwakarma, 37, taking the total number of arrests in the case to eight. Also, three Republic TV officials have been called in for questioning today and another official has been summoned on Thursday.

A team of the Crime Branch (Unit 9), Property Cell and CIU nabbed Verma from Worli and Vishwakarma, who is said to be the main accused, from the Mumbai airport.

Vishwakarma had just landed in the city from Varanasi when the cops picked him up. Police sources said Verma's name came up during the inquiry of Umesh Mishra, who used to get money from the former to be distributed among customers. Verma is a former employee of Hansa Research Private Limited, where he worked from 2013 to 2015.

Vishwakarma's name came up during the inquiry of arrested accused Vishal Bhandari, after which the cops started looking for him. Investigation has revealed that the arrested accused in the case were linked to Vishwakarma, who is also a former Hansa employee.

Police officer Sachin Vaze confirmed the arrest of both and said, "They will be produced in court for remand on Wednesday."

Meanwhile, the Crime Branch also recorded the statement of Ebixcash Technology managing director Milan Ghanatra, as the company had given advertisements to Republic TV. The Crime Branch wanted to know the criterion based on which they provided the advertisements. They have also sought some documents from Ghanatra.

The three Republic TV officials, who have been called for questioning on Wednesday, include chief financial officer Shiva Sundaram, executive editor Narayan Swami and distribution head Ganshyam Singh. Chief executive officer Priya Mukherjee has been summoned on Thursday.

UP cops jump in

The Uttar Pradesh police have also registered an FIR in the TRP scam case, which has been transferred to the CBI by the state government. Based on this, a Mumbai Crime Branch officer said the state government or the Supreme Court would decide on the investigation.

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First Published: 21 October, 2020 06:17 IST

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