Delhi: Several social media accounts — which have been called out as belonging to ‘right wing’ users — have drawn flak for a virtual pretence of auctioning Muslim women, supposedly as a ‘form of entertainment’. Victims of this include Congress social media national coordinator Hasiba Amin, who has lodged a police complaint against the alleged offender and said the police are following up on her complaint.
According to Amin, the virtual ‘sport’ started on 13 May, with a live on the YouTube channel, ‘Liberal Doge Live’.
Promoted as an “Eid Special”, the live had images of Pakistani women, and invited viewers to “stalk women with our eyes filled with lust”. The livestream video was made private, after it was called out on social media.
The virtual ‘bid’ then spilled on to Twitter in the early hours of Friday, with accounts with handles such as ‘@giyu2002’, ‘@Pinakishiv3’, and ‘@sullideals101’, tagged in the social media exchange. Words like “sulli’’, a derogatory word for Muslim women, was used by the participants, said Amin.
It was here that one of the users, @giyu2002, started trolling Amin by sharing a tweet from her and adding “I invoke the legendary @sullideals101 to auction this sulli. Minimum bid : $1 USD…” .
The same account then tweets, “Bid: 77 paise INR (lower than minimum bid but nevermind). So @HasibaAmin is now sold to @Pinakishiv3…Enjoy brother”.
After Amin’s complaint, and other social media users calling out the accounts as belonging to ‘right wing’ users, the accounts were either deleted or their names were changed.
While the pages of @liberaldogereal, @Pinakishiv3, and @sullideals101 now show a ‘doesn’t exist’ message, @giyu2002 has changed the profile name to ‘Mahummad Alam’ and the profile photo is now of a Muslim man.
ThePrint reached Delhi Police PRO Chinmoy Biswal for a comment on Amin’s complaint, who said he “did not have any information on the case”.
However, a senior police officer from the Southwest district — based on where Amin said she filed the complaint — said that once the complaint is officially transferred to them, they will register a formal case and investigate it on merit.
“If the complaint has been registered on the portal, it takes some time to come to district concerned. Whenever it comes to us, we will look into it and investigate it on merit,” the officer said.
Meanwhile, reacting to social media posts urging for action, Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur Police tweeted it would.
‘Right’ is wrong?
Social media users have called out the accounts as belonging to ‘right wing’ supporters.
Twitter user @SaniaAhmad1111 shared a screenshot of the bid on Amin and tweeted, “Every single day, RW scums achieve a new low…” with a screenshot of these accounts bidding on Amin.
A Reddit post on the incident, titled “Women auctioned on live stream on youtube” on the incident, commented “Hindutva is showing their true colours…”
While none of the offending accounts have any declared sociological or political stand, there are references to right-wing culture among the accounts’ archived tweets.
A look at the archived tweets of @liberaldogereal, show greetings like ‘जय श्री राम’.
Archived tweets from @giyu2002 claim, “many gullible hindus converted to jainism during middle age, especially from the kshatriya fold… all those now claiming themselves as jains are actually those who discarded their religion for some heretic non-vedic onion cult…” (sic)
Archived tweet from @Pinakishiv3, who has previously used names like @sullabeaterrrr_ , show comments like, “Both Amīr khusrau and Voltaire credit the hindus for decimal system, chess and zero etc.” (sic)
‘Not new to trolling’
The Congress leader, meanwhile, said trolling and objectification is something that happens to women on Twitter, especially of those in the political space. “Anyone with a voice is targeted. It is difficult to deal with. Traumatising”, she said.
In April, a dating app profile, allegedly belonging to activist Shehla Rashid was shared on Twitter by alleged ‘right wing’ supporters.
The post drew comments like, “Meanwhile Kashmiri women protest against fashion show held in Kashmir yesterday stating this is HARAM. Dating App is allowed I guess in Aasmani Kitab” (sic)
Another comment questions, “How does one claim themselves as Muslin and then claim that they are Moderate and Unorthodox?” (sic)
Amin, who has shared a screenshot of her complaint to the Home Ministry’s cybercrime portal being acknowledged, told ThePrint that she had received a call from the police and the officer had asked for information and said he would get back.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)