New Delhi/Guwahati, Jan 6 (PTI) An engineering student believed to be the “mastermind” and creator of the “Bulli Bai” app was arrested on Thursday from Jorhat in Assam and brought to the national capital where he confessed his role, Delhi Police said.
With the arrest of Niraj Bishnoi, 21, Delhi Police said in a statement it has solved completely the case related to hundreds of Muslim women being listed for “auction” on the “Bulli Bai” app on the Github platform.
Bishnoi, a resident of Jorhat who studies computer science engineering in Bhopal, is the fourth person to be arrested for their alleged involvement in the app. The other three, nabbed by Mumbai Police, include a 19-year-old woman from Uttarakhand, also alleged to be a prime accused in the case.
“You have arrested the wrong person, slumbai police,” Bishnoi had tweeted a day before his arrest.
“Lmao only one guy was ever involved and that’s me. You pajeets arrested a follower of that acc with sikh dp, who had nothing to do with the app and didn’t tweet anything wrong. Do you have even the slightest bit of shame slumbai pulis?” he said.
A team from Mumbai was also on its way to arrest Bishnoi but got delayed because of flight schedules and its Delhi counterparts got there an hour earlier, a Mumbai Police official said. The cyber cell will seek Bishnoi’s custody later, the official said.
Giving details, Delhi Police said the “Bulli Bai” app was developed in November last year and updated in December. Bishnoi was also keenly monitoring social media.
The motive behind the creation of the website is yet to be ascertained, police said.
Bishnoi disclosed during his interrogation that he created the “Bulli Bai” app on Github as well as the @bullibai_Twitter handle and others too, police said. The Twitter account was created on December 31.
Bishnoi, who was arrested by the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit of the Delhi Police, also disclosed that he had created another account @Sage0x1 for tweeting about the app, said Deputy Commissioner of Police, IFSO, K P S Malhotra.
“He is the mastermind and the person who had created this application on Github. He has confessed about the creation of the application… forensic remnants of the creation have been found in his laptop. He has been brought to Delhi and will be produced in court today (Thursday) for police custody and further investigation,” Malhotra said. “He was arrested early Thursday morning from Jorhat,” the DCP said, adding that IFSO worked out the case using technical analysis, IPDR (Internet Protocol Detail Records) and other gateways. According to officials, Bishnoi said the three others arrested by Mumbai Police were forwarding and spreading the information regarding the “Bulli Bai” app and had nothing to do with the creation of the app and its Twitter accounts.
Bishnoi is a second year B Tech student at the Vellore Institute of Technology in the Madhya Pradesh capital, the DCP said.
An Assam Police official said the operation to arrest him lasted about 12 hours. The arrest took place within hours of information being shared by Delhi Police, a senior officer said.
“Delhi Police have been coordinating with us over the matter. Their team reached on Wednesday morning and by evening, we had located the accused,” he told PTI.
Mumbai Police, which is also probing the case, did not contact the police in Jorhat regarding the accused, he added.
According to Mumbai Police sources, Bishnoi, who was operating the Twitter handle @giyu94, gave interviews to local media outlets following which his whereabouts came to light. Mumbai Police on Thursday also questioned Krunal Patel, a dentist, after his name cropped up during the investigation.
Of the four people arrested in the case, three are 21 years old, two are studying engineering and one is aspiring to, and two are from Uttarakhand. The three arrests made by the cyber cell of Mumbai Police are Uttarakhand teen Shweta Singh, who has passed her Class 12 exam and is planning to study engineering, 21-year-old Mayank Rawal, also from Uttarakhand, and Bengaluru-based Vishal Kumar Jha, a second-year engineering student like Bishnoi and aged 21 too.
According to a senior Mumbai Police officer, Singh is a prime accused who had created the Twitter handle of the app.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale told reporters on Wednesday that some more people are likely to be involved in the matter.
Hundreds of Muslim women were listed for “auction” on the “Bulli Bai” mobile application with photographs sourced without permission and doctored. The app appeared to be a clone of “Sulli Deals” which triggered a similar row last year.
On Saturday, Delhi Police registered an FIR against unknown persons for allegedly uploading a doctored picture of a woman journalist on a website. The journalist had lodged a complaint and shared a copy on Twitter.
On her complaint, a case under sections 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 354 A (sexual harassment and punishment for harassment) of the Indian Penal Code was registered at Cyber Police Station in Delhi Police’s southeast district.
The Twitter accounts were suspended by the microblogging site and the app was also removed from Github platform. Technical assistance was provided to southeast district. The raw data analysis along with the technical details was undertaken and the suspect was identified to be based in Jorhat, police said. PTI NIT AMP SSG DC NIT MIN MIN
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