Crackdown against BARC meter tampering continues, 3 held in Gwalior
After arrests in Bangalore and Telangana earlier this year for tampering of BARC viewership data, now cases have been registered against seven people in Gwalior on charges of tampering BARC sample households and data manipulation in Madhya Pradesh in favour of a particular Hindi TV news channel. Madhavganj Police in Gwalior has arrested three of the seven alleged offenders based on a complaint filed by Hansa Research Pvt Ltd.
Commenting on the issue, a BARC India spokesperson said, “BARC India is committed to a measurement system that is fair, transparent and free of any influences and malpractices. We have deployed cutting-edge technology to detect panel infiltration, and follow up with on-ground vigilance/ investigations.”
He further said, “Since day one, we have been approaching law enforcement officials for their support in controlling this menace. We are encouraged by the fact that due to our sustained campaign and complaints, police are now taking action and arresting those involved in this illegal activity.”
In January 2018, five people were arrested in Bangalore for trying to tamper with the BARC viewership data. The arrests were made by the Cyber Crime Police following a complaint lodged by BARC, stating that viewership data was being hiked through illegal means.
In March this year, BARC India got an FIR filed against culprits in Telangana. The FIR was filed by the police after BARC India’s vigilance team found out that the details of the households where BARC India’s BAR-O-Meters are installed were compromised. The FIR was filed for manipulation, tampering, cheating and breach of trust. The state police also detained those accused, based on the FIR.
Meanwhile, BARC India has also set up a Disciplinary Council, headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, to strengthen transparency and credibility of its measurement system.