“Bigger than a Normal strike.”
That is what Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami told Partho Dasgupta, the previous Chief military officer of the printed Audience Research Council , which measures television ratings, during a purported WhatsApp chat on February 23, 2019.
Three days later, on February 26, 2019, the Indian Air Force administered a strike targeting a Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp within the Pakistani town of Balakot. The attack was billed as India’s response to an attack on Valentine Day , 2019, in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, during which 40 Central Reserve police personnel were killed after an explosive-laden car driven by a terrorist rammed into their bus.
The purported chat is mentioned during a transcript that’s a part of a 3,400-page supplementary chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police in their investigation into the alleged Television Ratings Point scam, consistent with The Hindu.
The chats, alleged advocate Prashant Bhushan on Twitter, “show many conspiracies & unprecedented access to power in this” government.
According to the transcript, on February 23, 2019, Goswami texted Dasgupta saying: “On another note something big will happen”.
After a couple of messages on other matters, Dasgupta asked, “Dawood?”, pertaining to the notorious gangster who is needed in several cases.
The conversation continued:
Arnab Goswami: “No sir Pakistan. Something major are going to be done this point .”
Partho Dasgupta: “Good.”
Partho Dasgupta: “It’s good for giant man during this season.”
Partho Dasgupta: “He will sweep polls then.”
Partho Dasgupta: “Strike? Or bigger”
Arnab Goswami: “Bigger than a traditional strike. And also on an equivalent time something major on Kashmir. On Pakistan the govt is confident of striking during a way that folks are going to be elated. Exact words used.”
The chats also reveal instances of Dasgupta asking Goswami to succeed in bent the govt on his behalf. In one such exchange on April 4, 2019, the previous ratings agency chief asks Goswami if he can stall the Telecom regulatory agency of India’s proposal to form BARC’s viewing data public. Dasgupta asks Goswami for a few action from a particular “AS”. In reply, Goswami says he could do what Dasgupta asked for.
The chat also includes a conversation where Dasgupta asks Goswami to urge him employment as “media advisor” within the Prime Minister’s Office, while at several instances the Republic TV journalist refers to his proximity to “PMO” and therefore the Ministry of data and Broadcasting, The Hindu reported.
An operation to control television ratings was uncovered in October when the printed Audience Research Council filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, one among BARC’s vendors, accusing some channels of rigging their ratings by bribing some households to observe their programmes.
On December 25, Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Milind Bharambe had said that a forensic audit report of the rating agency’s data had revealed that the numbers had been manipulated a minimum of since 2016. Bharambe said that the manipulations resulted in Republic TV being depicted because the top-ranked channel.
Bharambe had also mentioned that the report mentioned e-mails and chats between officials of the rating agency that were “absolutely incriminating”.
Earlier this month, Mumbai Police informed the Bombay supreme court that they need found more evidence against Goswami in reference to the case.
Thirteen people are arrested within the case thus far , including Republic TV Chief military officer Vikas Khanchandani. He has since been released on bail.
Former BARC Chief Operation Officer Romil Ramgarhia remains in custody as does former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta. On Friday night, Dasgupta was admitted to JJ Hospital in Mumbai after his vital sign and sugar levels, the Exchange4media site reported.
Box Cinema and Marathi channel Fakt Marathi were the opposite channels named during the preliminary investigation.