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After ‘Sulli Deals’, now ‘Bulli Bai’ app lists Muslim women ‘for sale’. Delhi Police lodges FIR

A few months ago, a website called ‘Sulli Deals’ with similar content was pulled down. After targeted women call out ‘Bulli Bai’, Delhi Police says case registered on journalist’s complaint.

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New Delhi: Months after a now defunct website called ‘Sulli Deals’ put up photographs of Indian Muslim women, listing them for “sale”, a similar website and app by the name of ‘Bulli Bai’ has triggered outrage. 

On the complaint of a woman journalist who had allegedly been targeted by the app, Delhi Police has registered an FIR under section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC, the ANI reported Sunday.

The app, which surfaced on software development platform GitHub and reportedly carried pictures of a 100 Muslim women, was called out by several women on social media Saturday.

Later in the day, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted that the app has been blocked by GitHub and the police and Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) an agency under the IT ministry that deals with cyber security are probing the matter.

The Delhi Police had tweeted Saturday that concerned officials had been directed to take appropriate action, reacting to a tweet by journalist Ismat Ara, who shared a screenshot of her photos featured on the app.

“Very sad that as a Muslim woman you have to start your new year with this sense of fear and disgust,” she wrote.

Another journalist, Hiba Beg, also shared on Twitter that her pictures “were being auctioned off” on the app. 

The website http://bullibai.github.io/ is no longer functional. Four Twitter accounts that were posting screenshots of the app (@wannabesigmaf, @bullibai_, @sage0x11 and @jattkhalsa7) have been deactivated. 

GitHub which has its headquarters in San Diego, USA has not yet issued a statement on the matter. GitHub had also hosted ‘Sulli Deals’, but removed it later.

National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma tweeted Sunday that the matter had been “noted”.


Also Read: Love, sex, badla: Cybercrimes are soaring in Assam & they’re different from the rest of India


‘Communal targeting of women’

Several people raised their voices against the app on social media and expressed solidarity with the targeted women.

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted Saturday that she had “repeatedly asked IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to take stern action against such rampant misogyny and communal targeting of women”.

“A shame that it continues to be ignored,” she added. 

Chaturvedi also wrote that she had spoken to Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale and Deputy Commissioner Police (Cyber) Dr Rashmi Karandikar and been assured of an investigation. 

Congress leader and MP Karti Chidambaram tweeted that it was “unacceptable” that “this project of dangerous anti-Muslim misogyny is back”. 

“Appalling indictment of the state of affairs, that not only was nothing done last time, these forces felt emboldened to repeat the whole thing because the establishment backs them,” he added.

Congress MP Dr Mohammad Jawed also requested action against both platforms.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted that “inaction by the authorities has made these criminals brazen”, and called on IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the NCW, and Delhi Police to take action.

The ‘Sulli Deals’ case

In July 2021, a similar app and website called ‘Sulli Deals’ had surfaced, carrying photographs of around 90 women “on sale”. The Delhi Police had registered a case against unknown persons days after the incident, and said that it had sent notices to GitHub — which had hosted the website — seeking details. However, no arrests were made in the case.

A GitHub spokesperson had earlier told ThePrint: “GitHub has longstanding policies against content and conduct involving harassment, discrimination, and inciting violence. We suspended user accounts following the investigation of reports of such activity, all of which violate our policies.” 

(Edited by Gitanjali Das)


Also Read: Fraud and sexual exploitation prime motives for cyber crimes in country: NCRB data


 

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