India’s, Republic TV, a news channel which is strong supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and known for its anti-Pakistan campaign, is now under criminal investigation for alleged ratings fraud.
India’s local media reported that the move by Mumbai police drew a strong denial from Arnab Goswami, its lead anchor, saying that he was being targeted because of recent coverage that was critical of the police in Mumbai, India’s financial capital which is run by an alliance of opposition parties, The New York Times reported from New Delhi.
Since the launching of Republic TV three years ago, the newspaper said Goswami has made a name for himself shouting down opponents, embracing right-wing causes and aggressively backing up Prime Minister Modi and his right-leaning government, as Republic TV’s ratings have soared.
“But this week, police officials in Mumbai accused Republic TV and two smaller channels of rigging the ratings system by paying poor people the equivalent of a few dollars a month to tune into the station and leave their televisions on,” the newspaper said.
“In some cases, police officials said, people being bribed to watch the English-language channel did not speak English and were annoyed to tie up their television sets with programming that they couldn’t even understand.”