Arnab Goswami gave money to manipulate ratings, confesses Partho Dasgupta

Partho Dasgupta, former CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, has finally claimed in a handwritten statement to Mumbai Police that he received US$12,000 from Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami for two separate holidays and a total of Rs 40 lakh over three years.

Partho Dasgupta, former CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, has finally claimed in a handwritten statement to Mumbai Police that he received US$12,000 from Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami for two separate holidays and a total of Rs 40 lakh over three years, in return for manipulating ratings in favor of the news channel, according to the supplementary charge sheet filed in the TRP scam case.

According to the Indian media, the 3,600-page supplementary charge sheet, filed by Mumbai Police on January 11, also includes a BARC forensic audit report, WhatsApp chats purportedly between Dasgupta and Goswami, and statements of 59 persons, including former council employees and cable operators.

The audit report names several news channels, including Republic, Times Now and Aaj Tak, and lists instances of alleged manipulation as well as “pre-fixing” of ratings for the channels by BARC’s top executives.

Dasgupta’s statement reads: “I have known Arnab Goswami since 2004. We used to work together in Times Now. I joined BARC as CEO in 2013. Arnab Goswami launched Republic in 2017. Even before launching Republic TV he would talk to me about plans for the launch and indirectly hint at helping him to get good ratings to his channel. Goswami knew very well that I know how the TRP system works. He also alluded to helping me out in the future.”

It states: “I worked with my team to ensure manipulation of TRP ratings that made Republic TV get number 1 rating. This would have continued from 2017 to 2019. Towards this, in 2017 Arnab Goswami had personally met me at St Regis hotel, Lower Parel and given me 6000 dollars cash for my France and Switzerland family trip…also in 2019 Arnab Goswami had personally met me at St Regis and given me 6000 dollars for my Sweden and Denmark family trip. Also in 2017, Goswami had personally met me at ITC Parel hotel and given me Rs 20 lakh cash… also in 2018 and 2019… Goswami met me at ITC hotel Parel and gave me Rs 10 lakhs each time…”

Read more: Unholy nexus between Modi government and Indian media exposed, PM Khan

Who was behind the Pulwama attack?

The screenshots of a WhatsApp conversation between Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta made rounds on social media. The messages discussed the Pulwama attack on February 14, 2019, in which 40 Indian soldiers were killed, with Goswami rejoicing and writing to Dasgupta about how the attack has helped his channel. ‘This attack we have won like crazy,’ he wrote to Dasgupta.

The Whatsapp chat between Arnab Goswami and BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta had also revealed that the latter was aware of Indian plans to conduct a strike inside Pakistan and scrapping the article 370 in occupied Kashmir.

The 2019 Indian general election was just a few months away at that time.

The conversation had revealed how the Indian Air Force was used as a tool to further the plans of the reelection of a Modi-led government while spreading lies regarding terror hideouts in Balakot.

Indian propaganda against Pakistan

India has been spreading disinfo against Pakistan since. In the latest episode, a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Brussels exposed 15-year long Indian attempt to target Pakistan through the proliferation of fake news and disinformation. DisinfoLab in its report titled “Indian Chronicles: Deep Dive into a 15-year Operation Targeting the European Union (EU) and United Nations to Serve Indian Interests,” regard it the “largest network” in order to “discredit Pakistan internationally.”

According to the report, “750+ Indian supported websites scattered across 119 countries have been working within the European Union and the United Nations for the past 15 years to destabilize Pakistan.”

The report argued that the disinformation campaign led by the Srivastava Group mainly focused to influence the decisions of the European Parliament and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

In 2019, DisinfoLab also unearthed 265 websites, which were working towards a similar end.

According to the researchers at DisinfoLab, they had “uncovered an entire network of coordinated UN-accredited NGOs promoting Indian interests and criticizing Pakistan repeatedly.

It said cyberspace had germinated a new type of warfare that is generally recognized as the fifth battlefield, transforming the traditional warfare techniques and responses.

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