New Delhi/Mumbai: Maharaja Gulab Singh (1792-1857), founder of the Dogra dynasty and the first king of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir, is “considered” to be the “idol” of the ‘Tradmahasabha’ group on Twitter, that allegedly discussed the creation of the Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai portals that sought to “auction” Muslim women, ThePrint has learnt.
According to a source privy to the investigation, this information has been mentioned in the chargesheet against the accused in the Bulli Bai app case.
The Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals portals are currently being investigated by both Mumbai and Delhi police, both of which have prepared elaborate chargesheets detailing the alleged conspiracy behind their setting up.
The Mumbai Police chargesheet against the six accused — Niraj Bishnoi, Aumkeshwar Thakur, Niraj Singh, Vishal Jha, Mayank Rawat and Shweta Singh — was filed in the metropolitan magistrate’s court at Bandra last week.
The Delhi Police filed 2,000-page and 700-page chargesheets in the Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals cases, respectively, on 4 March in the Patiala House courts.
Through information shared by a source, as well as excerpts of the force’s Bulli Bai chargesheet, ThePrint has accessed some details of the investigation into the murky case, where the accused also allegedly tried to foment trouble between the Muslim and Sikh communities.
“The Bulli Bai app was supposed to be propagated later. It was discussed in the Tradmahasabha group that they will postpone the auction, as one of the members of the group lost his uncle. However, Niraj Bishnoi (the alleged creator of the Bulli Bai app) didn’t wait and made the app functional,” the source said.
The accused have been charged under sections 153A (promoting enmity on grounds of religion etc), 153B (imputations prejudicial to national integration), 295A (insulting religious beliefs), 354D (stalking), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 500 (criminal defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to sources, the discussions on the Tradmahasabha and other similar Twitter groups also centred on ‘Manusmriti’, the ‘Chaturvarna (theory on Hindu caste system)’, and ‘Brahmin supremacy’.
The Mumbai Police’s chargesheet, according to the excerpts accessed by ThePrint, mentions that 20-year-old Niraj Bishnoi created the Bulli Bai app based on the template source code of Sulli Deals and uploaded photos of 102 Muslim women, out of which 50 were given to him by one Vinay Agarwal.
Sulli Deals was allegedly created by Aumkeshwar Thakur, who was arrested by Delhi Police from Indore. Bishnoi was also arrested by Delhi Police, from Jorhat, Assam. The other four accused were arrested by Mumbai Police.
Ideology & operations
According to the source, the Mumbai Police chargesheet mentions the “ideologies” discussed on Tradmahasabha and other Twitter groups that allegedly led to the creation of the Sulli Deals and its clone app, Bulli Bai.
The source said the chargesheet mentions three Twitter handles — “Sullidealsxpose101”, “vinayagarwal” and “svllabeaterrr_” — that had “instructed Thakur, Bishnoi and the others on the creation of the apps, and would give them information”.
“We are awaiting Twitter’s response on these handles,” the source said. “The accused were highly radicalised, and told who the enemy was,” he added.
“The accused were part of multiple Twitter groups and they would keep tabs on social media on all those who discussed topics related to Hinduism. If anyone was found to not agree with them, they would report their Twitter accounts to punish them,” the source said.
The link to Bulli Bai was first shared on another group called ‘High IQ Bruh’ that was created by Shweta, and all accused were part of it, the chargesheet says.
It mentions that engineering student Vishal Jha, who was arrested from Bengaluru, identified himself on Twitter as a Khalsa supremacist, a resident of Canada, and that he had seven Twitter accounts and two Instagram accounts.
That Shweta Singh and Vishal Jha were allegedly in touch with each other became evident when police investigated Shweta’s email ID, the chargesheet states, adding that Vishal and Mayank Rawat were also in touch with each other, as evident from the latter’s email ID. Both email IDs were on Protonmail, a service that promises end-to-end encryption.
Shweta Singh had also kept a Sikh man’s photo as DP on her Twitter handle @jattkhalsa7, the chargesheet adds, detailing the alleged bid to use the app as a bid to trigger tensions between Muslims and Sikhs.
“All accused were very active on social media and they wanted to download Muslim women’s photos without their permission and use it for objectionable content and sell it online,” the chargesheet reads. “This was an act of outraging women’s modesty and religious sentiments of Sikhs and create instability amongst different sects of society and disturb harmony and peace in the society.”
Said the source: “The members of the Tradmahasabha group were instructed by the three Twitter IDs to increase followers on other Twitter groups.”
Change of Twitter handles to Sikh names
When Shweta Singh’s email ID was reopened, there were several messages and 35 emails. According to the chargesheet, the communications included messages such as “Giyu se personal message h? toh DA kar do. Giyu safe h toh? (Did you get a personal message from Giyu? Is Giyu safe?).”
“When asked who is Giyu, she said Giyu is a Bulli Bai app creator. And when asked where she met Giyu, she said they met on ‘Anti Trad Reporting GC’ Twitter group,” the chargesheet adds.
Shweta Singh has eight Twitter IDs, one Instagram account, two Gmail accounts and three Protonmail accounts, the chargesheet says.
In another conversation on 3 January, it adds, the discussion between Shweta and Niraj Singh (who allegedly used the Twitter handle daydreamerr234) was — “Bas pray karo, Twitter detail na de (Just pray, Twitter does not provide details).”
The discussion included mention of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and to take up safety precautions to prevent arrests.
The chargesheet also mentions that, on the instruction of Niraj Bishnoi, the accused changed their original Twitter handles to Sikh names.
“Niraj Singh used some posts related to the farmers agitation and copied on his fake account and posted them,” the chargesheet says.
Added the source: “This was all done to mislead the investigation and implicate people from the Sikh community.”
(Edited by Saikat Niyogi)