Cable TV

Mumbai's last big independent cable operator shot dead

MUMBAI: An independent cable operator in Navi Mumbai was shot dead today afternoon, possibly bringing to surface the dirty face of cable wars.

Sanjay Gupta was at his office in Nerul when unidentified assailants shot him point blank at around 12:30 pm today. According to news reports, police suspects business rivalry but has not ruled out the possibility of the involvement of the underworld.

 

Gupta was receiving threats from the underworld over the last two months, according to news reports. He was attacked twice. His office was pelted with stones in one occasion.

Indiantelevision.com spoke to a number of cable operators in Mumbai who did not want to come out in the open, but severely decried the development. "We are meeting to decide what course of action to take. There is possibility of a cable blackout for a day. This is a dangerous thing to happen," says an operator.

 

 

Cable wars were frequent in Mumbai, but for the last few years operators had arrived at a truce. This was particularly applicable to multi system operators (MSOs) who had expressed unity to better business operations and protect their commercial interests.

Gupta was the last big independent cable operator in Mumbai and withstood constant underworld threats to carve out a large network in CBD Belapur region, extending over Nerul and Vasi in Navi Mumbai. His cable network was called Supreme Cable Vision.

A rival cable network was expanding operations in Navi Mumbai and Chembur. But it is not clear yet whether Gupta's death was a consequence of business rivalry.

As a protest, the cable operator community might go for a blackout. The brother of the deceased Bhupesh Gupta has been quoted by Sahara News as saying that the black out will go on for two days. He said Sanjay Gupta received threats over control of cable distribution in the area.

Reacting to the incident, a cable operator says: "There seems to be no permanent solution. Gupta had lodged a complaint but this could not stop his death."

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