New Delhi: The News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) has articulated that it is deeply disturbed on the early morning arrest and two-day remand of Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani, in the investigation into allegations of TRP rigging.
Vikas Khanchandani’s arrest by the Greater Mumbai Police is the latest police action after its senior executive Ghanshyam Singh was arrested, remanded and released on bail after spending 26 days in prison. Vikas’ anticipatory bail petition is scheduled to be heard by the court and the arrest and remand is highly disturbing.
“The early morning arrest of Vikas Khanchandani, the chief executive of Republic TV, is highly alarming on the law and order situation in Maharashtra. The series of arrests of senior executives of Republic TV on the pretext of investigations into one or other raises serious questions on liberty of an individual. We urge the State Government of Maharashtra to ensure law of land is followed in letter and spirit,” said R Jai Krishna, Secretary-General of News Broadcasters Federation.
“We are very sad to hear that Vikas Khanchandani, the CEO of Republic TV has been arrested in the false TRP scam case. And we appeal to the Maharashtra Government and the police to stop their atrocities on Republic TV and let his people live a normal life. It is enough and it now gone really over the head now, and if they don’t stop these atrocities on the media, I think the entire country’s media should get together and strongly oppose and fight it out with the Maharashtra Government. We strongly condemn this act of the Maharashtra Government and the Maharashtra Police of arresting of Vikas Khanchandani in the TRP scam case. There has been so many TRP scam case all across the country but why he is the only one to be targeted and arrested. We all know what they have been doing with Arnab (Goswami), and we strongly oppose this. I as the Vice President of NBF strongly condemn this and appeal once again to the Maharashtra Government to stop these atrocities on the Republic Network,” said Sanjive Narain, Vice President of NBF and CEO of Prag News, an Assam based regional news channel.
“It is very shocking to hear today the arrest of Mr. Vikas Khanchandani, CEO of Republic TV when his bail application is coming before the consideration of the Bombay High Court on Monday. There is every reason to believe that Maharashtra Police is acting with vengeance in the case of Republic TV for reasons only known to them. It is our humble request that the Government of Maharashtra should take all steps to protect the freedom of Media and to instruct the Police to act accordingly,” said R.Sreekandan Nair, Chief Editor, Twenty Four, a Kerala-based regional news channel.
“I’m at loss of words at the arrest of Vikas, it really pains and worries a lot of media professionals like us, what’s the end to this ? This can’t continue for long,” said Shankar Bala, Vice President of NBF, and CEO, Fourth Dimension Media Solutions.
NBF has reiterated and urged the Government of India to immediately set-up an independent neutral national agency to investigate into any allegations of professional misconduct by journalists, executives, and owners of media company, in order to prevent selective harassment by the e State Authority and to ensure the Freedom of Press.