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Mumbai police make fifth arrest in TRP case from Mirzapur | Mumbai News

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MUMBAI: The city crime branch investigating the TRP manipulation missile on Monday arrested another person who was part of the network that allegedly distributed money among families to watch separate TV channels.
Police arrested Vinay Tripathi, a former Hansa Research relationship manager, from Mirzapur to Uttar Pradesh. This brings the number of people arrested in this case to five. Four people were arrested last week. Police have also frozen the bank accounts of Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi channels and their two heads.
A team led by API Sachin Waze recorded the statements of Praveen Nijhara, CEO of Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd, and Hansas Deputy General Manager Nitin Deokar, who is the complainant in this case. On Monday, statements by Republic TV Group CEO Vikas Khanchandani and channel distribution chief Ghanshyam Singh were also recorded for the second day in a row. On Sunday, police had questioned Khanchandani and COO of Hersh Bhandari Republic in Mumbai, while Ghanshyam Singh had been questioned in Daman.
One of the arrested defendants, Vishal Bhandari, told us he would take money from Tripathi to distribute among families who were asked to watch specific TV channels, a Mumbai police officer said. Police said Bompallirao Mistri has emerged as the main person directing the scams in the TV channel instances. He is used to operating through Tripathi and Bhandari, police said. Four other people are under scanner, police added.
Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema are being investigated for viewing manipulation.
Among the four previously arrested were the heads of Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema. Police said Tripathi worked with Hansa as a relationship manager for four years and quit his job in 2018 even before Bhandari joined Hansa as a relationship manager. In June this year, Hansa found a suspicious trend in the TRP and conducted an internal investigation. At this point, Tripathi left Mumbai for Uttar Pradesh. He was not employed with Hansa at the time of the agencies’ internal investigation, the police officer said.
Tripathis call records show that he was in contact with Bhandari from November 2019 to March 2020. A police team consisting of officers Santosh Kotwal, Riyaz Qazi, Prakash Howad, Nitin Londhe and Subhash Mutthe arrested Tripathis. He will appear in court in Mirzapur on Tuesday for detention and will be brought to Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Republic TV’s CFO Shiva Sundaram has sent a letter to Mumbai police saying he will join the investigation on Tuesday. Priya Mukharjee, CEO of Republic TV, did not appear Monday citing health issues.
Police said the statements of 36 people have been recorded so far, and four Bank Cinema and Fakt Marathi bank accounts have also been frozen.

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