Published: 04 Jan 2022, 06:18 pm
have arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with an app that shared photos of
more than 100 Muslim women saying they were on "sale", BBC reported.
He is an
engineering student from the southern city of Bangalore whose identity has not
against him are unclear but he is a "close follower" of the app, Bulli
Bai, police told the media.
The app was
hosted on the web platform GitHub, which has since taken it down amid widespread anger
Photographs of several prominent Muslim journalists and activists were used on the app without their permission and put on "sale" in a fake auction.
This is the second attempt to harass Muslim women by "auctioning" them online. In July last year, an app and website called "Sulli Deals" created profiles of more than 80 Muslim women - using photos they uploaded online - and described them as "deals of the day".
cases, there was no real sale, but the purpose was to degrade and humiliate
Muslim women - many of whom have been vocal about the rising tide of Hindu
nationalism under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sulli is a derogatory Hindi
slang term right-wing Hindu trolls use for Muslim women, and bulli is also
Though the police
began an investigation in the Sulli deals case, no one has been charged.
When news of the Bulli Bai app broke, poet Nabiya Khan who was targeted in the Sulli deals case, tweeted that the Delhi Police had yet to take action on her complaint in 2021.
Police in at
least three states have opened an investigation into the Bulli Bai app based on
complaints by women who were targeted.
the cyber unit of the Mumbai Police detained the engineering student in
Bangalore. He was flown to Mumbai, where he was arrested, on Tuesday. Police
told BBC Marathi they were also questioning a woman in the northern state of Uttarakhand
in connection with the case.
The list of
women on the Bulli Bai app included a Bollywood actor and the 65-year-old
mother of a disappeared Indian student.
auction shocked and angered people after several women who featured on it shared
screenshots and messages on social media.
Rehbar, a Kashmiri journalist, who had reported on the Sulli deals last year,
said it felt disgusting to be named in the app this time.
and technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Saturday that GitHub had
blocked the user who uploaded the app, and police were co-ordinating with cyber
agencies for "further action".
Chaturvedi, a lawmaker from the Shiv Sena party, tweeted in response:
"Besides blocking the platform punishing the offenders creating such sites
She told ANI
news agency that the new app was created because the makers of Sulli deals
hadn't been punished yet. The parliamentarian also shared letters written to Mr
Vaishnav after the Sulli deals app came to light in July 2021.
spokesperson for GitHub said that the company has suspended a user account
following the investigation of reports of such activity, "all of which
violate our policies".
Amnesty International report on online harassment in India showed that the more
vocal a woman was, the more likely she was to be targeted - the scale of this
increased for women from religious minorities and disadvantaged castes.
Critics say trolling against Muslim women has worsened in recent years in India's polarised political climate.