A photograph of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray watching Republic TV is being circulated on social media amid the TRP row the channel is currently facing.
Republic TV, along with two other channels is being probed for allegedly manipulating and rigging ratings and using them to spread fake narratives and gain ad revenues, the Mumbai police said on October 8.
Owners of Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema have been arrested and the directors and promoters of Republic TV are being probed for ratings fraud. Accounts of Republic TV and the others could be frozen if it was found that the channels made advertising money using rigged ratings, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said.
The Mumbai Police in its FIR had named India Today, however, the Commissioner later clarified, "In the FIR, India Today was named by one of the witnesses. But as the probe progressed neither BARC, nor witnesses, nor accused named India Today. All named Republic TV, Marathi channels. As of now no evidence against India Today. We are proceeding against Republic TV, Marathi channels."
"Arnab we didn't know u gave 400 rupees to Udhav Thackeray Jeeeeeee!" reads the caption of one such post.
Photo shows Uddhav Thackeray watching Republic TV.
The claim is false since the photo has been morphed.
A reverse image search led to the original photo on The Outlook's photo gallery which has been credited to PTI.
Mumbai Mirror had tweeted the same photo on April 27, 2020.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with Maharashtra CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray via video conference on COVID-19 preparedness, during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus," reads the caption of the photo.
Below is a comparison showing the viral morphed image (left) and the original one (right):
The hashtag #CantBlockRepublic can be read in the bulletin seen in the viral photograph. This particular bulletin was aired on September 11. The original photo is dated April 27, 2020.
Below is a comparison of the bulletin as seen in the viral photo (left) and the one uploaded by the channels official Twitter account (right):
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