The arrest of Republic CEO Vikas Khanchandani by Mumbai Police in the alleged TRP scam case has sent shockwaves across the media and entertainment industry as top industry leaders have criticised the action as far-fetched.
Mumbai metropolitan magistrate court on Sunday remanded Khanchandani to two-day police custody till December 15. Republic TV is set to move the Bombay High Court against the city court's order.
Media veteran Raj Nayak, who knows Khanchandani for more than two decades as a close friend and professional colleague, said, “I am really saddened by the arrest of my dear friend Vikas Khanchandani. We’ve been close for over two decades and I can vouch for his integrity. His only fault is being at the wrong place at the wrong time and getting caught in the crossfire. Praying that he is safe and released soon.”
Rajiv Dubey, Head of Media at Dabur India, too criticised the arrest in his facebook post.
The News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) said it was 'deeply disturbed' by the arrest of Khanchandani. Issuing an official statement, the body, which is the largest membership-driven organisation upholding the freedom of press, urged for Khanchandani's immediate release.
“The series of arrests of senior executives of Republic TV on the pretext of investigation into one or other raises serious questions on the liberty of an individual. We urge the State Government of Maharashtra to ensure the law of land is followed in letter and spirit,” said R. Jai Krishna, Secretary-General of News Broadcasters Federation.
“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.
Founder of Canco Advertising, Execom Member of Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA) and Mancom Member India Chapter IAA, wrote in his post on Facebook: "I am really saddened at the happenings not just in the political scene but more so in the media scenario. I really hope we can go back to the good old times. Good sense must prevail."