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TRP scam: Former BARC COO Romil Ramgarhia arrested

Romil Ramgarhia had left BARC in July this year.

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NEW DELHI: Mumbai police has taken in custody former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) COO Romil Ramgarhia, marking the 14th arrest in the TRP manipulation case. He has been remanded in police custody till 19 Dec. 

The development comes a day after Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani was granted bail in the same case. 

Ramgarhia had left BARC in July this year after a six-year-long stint with the council. 

The alleged scam was busted in October this year when Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh held a press conference stating that three channels – Republic TV, Box Cinema, Fakt Marathi – were rigging ratings by paying people to keep the channels on even when they were not watching them. The TRP contracts were given to a company named Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd. During the investigation, it was found that the ex-employees of Hansa were sharing the TRP data with the channels.

Following this scandal coming to light, BARC suspended ratings of news channels for three months to "review its already stringent protocols and further augment them."

Mumbai police has been hot on the heels of Republic TV’s top executives, while the channel and its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami claim the case to be vindictive action against it.

Earlier this month, Republic's chief operating officer Priya Mukherjee got anticipatory bail in connection with the TRP gaming case. On 5 December, the sessions court had granted bail to Republic TV's assistant vice president, Ghanshyam Singh, who was arrested in the same case on 10 November.

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