Mumbai/Dehradun: The Mumbai Police have arrested an 18-year-old woman from Uttarakhand for her alleged involvement in connection with the ‘Bulli Bai’ app, which targeted Muslim women by uploading their morphed photographs without their consent, claiming they were up for “auction”.
This is the second arrest by the Mumbai Police in the case. Earlier in the day, the police arrested one Vishal Kumar Jha, a 21-year-old engineering student, from Bengaluru. A Bandra court has sent Jha to police custody for six days.
“The Mumbai Police has arrested (the 18-year-old woman) and secured her transit remand. They are waiting for a woman constable from Mumbai to reach Uttarakhand, after which they will take her to Mumbai and produce her before a local court,” a senior Uttarakhand police officer told ThePrint on the condition of anonymity.
The officer also confirmed that the accused woman is 18 years old, has cleared her higher secondary examinations and was preparing for college entrance exams. He also added that the woman is originally from Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, and had moved to Uttarakhand about 15 years ago.
The Mumbai Police hasn’t clarified what the woman’s role in the case was. A. Chaitanya, Deputy Commissioner and spokesperson for the Mumbai Police, told ThePrint: “The police does not want to comment on the case at all at this point.”
Arrested accused known to each other
A senior Mumbai Police officer who did not wish to be named said the two arrested accused were known to each other and were in touch with each other through different social media platforms.
Police sources said, Jha had changed his name on social media profiles at least three times in the past week to confuse victims. One of the fake identities he used was ‘Khalsa Supremacist’, pretending to be a Sikh from Punjab.
The Bandra court also granted the Mumbai Police permission to search the residence of Jha, sources said.
On Saturday, morphed photographs of hundreds of women were found to be listed on the ‘Bulli Bai’ app, hosted by software development platform GitHub, without their consent. Last year, a similar website ‘Sulli Deals’, which is now defunct, had put up similar photographs of Muslim women, listing them “for sale”.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi raised the issue Saturday with the Mumbai Police and Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Home, Satej Patil. The same day, the Mumbai Police registered an FIR in the case.
Have spoken to @CPMumbaiPolice and DCP Crime Rashmi Karandikar ji. They will investigate this. Have also spoken to @DGPMaharashtra for intervention. Hoping those behind such misogynistic and sexist sites are apprehended. https://t.co/Ofo1l9dgIl
— Priyanka Chaturvedi🇮🇳 (@priyankac19) January 1, 2022
The Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) too had issued summons to the cyber crime cell of the Delhi Police in the ‘Bulli Bai’ app case Monday, and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits. Earlier, the Delhi Police had registered an FIR in the case.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)