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Bulli Bai App Masterminds: An Engineering Student, Class 12 Pass Out, DU Undergraduate

The Mumbai police in a statement said that Shweta was handling three accounts related to the ‘Bulli Bai’ app. But their motive was not just to denigrate Muslim women, it was also trying to implicate Sikhs as the perpetrators.

GITHUB
GitHub is the infamous platform used for both the apps.

New Delhi: A student of engineering, another pursuing chemistry honours, and a class 12 pass out have been arrested for the purported auction of Muslim women on Bulli Bai app.

The Mumbai Cyber Crime police’s first arrest was Vishal Kumar Jha, a 21-year-old engineering student in Bengaluru. Shweta Singh, an 18-year-old class 12pass out, from Uttarakhand was the next one in the police net while Mayank Rawal (21), again from Uttarakhand, is the third arrest.

The multi-state connection may widen into cross borders as reports suggest that the police are looking for Shweta’s friend from Nepal – Giyou who is another accused in the case.

What we know till now is that the Vishal and Shweta had a “common interest” i.e., Hindutva ideology. How Mayank, the third accused, comes into the picture is not yet known. But the police have said that he is also a student, pursuing his BSc Chemistry (Honours) from Delhi University’s Zakir Hussain College. A three-member Mumbai Cyber Police team arrested him from Kotdwar in Pauri Garhwal district where he was living due to classes being offline.

Rawat’s father, according to the police is in the Indian Army, and posted in Jammu.

ALSO READ: ‘Bulli Bai’ App Case: Three People Arrested So Far; Looking For More Culprits, Says Mumbai Police

The app in question came to light on January 1, 2022, and had distinctly similar characteristics like Sulli deals which appeared on July 4, 2021. The app was created to upload pictures of Muslim women, without their consent, to purportedly auction them.

The Mumbai police in a statement said that Shweta was handling three accounts related to the ‘Bulli Bai’ app. But their motive was not just to denigrate Muslim women, it was also trying to implicate Sikhs as the perpetrators.

Shweta, was in touch with a handle, which is being operated from Nepal. Following her Nepalese friend Giyou’s instructions, whom she reportedly met on social media, she made a Twitter handle with the name of @jattkhalsa07 and started uploading  photos of Muslim women.

“The main accused woman was handling three accounts related to the ‘Bulli Bai’ app. Co-accused Vishal Kumar opened an account by the name Khalsa supremacist. On December 31, 2021, he changed the names of other accounts to resemble Sikh names. Fake Khalsa account holders were shown,” the Mumbai police stated.

A report cites investigators claiming that Vishal and Shweta met on social media “due to their common interest in Hindutva ideology and allegedly put up the web pages”. Any attempt after that to also show Sikhs in a bad light may be seen from the angle of farmers’ protests.

ALSO READ: Our Fight Against ‘Sulli Deals’, ‘Bulli Bai’, And Hate

For now, the Mumbai Cyber Police station has registered a case against the ‘Bulli Bai’ app developers and Twitter handles that promoted the app.

The case registered is under sections 153(A) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion etc), 153(B) (Imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 295(A) (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings), 354D (stalking), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 500 (criminal defamation) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of Information Technology Act.

GitHub is the infamous platform used for both the apps. India Ahead sent a questionnaire to GitHub about what actions were taken after the first such case, and if they have a policy in place to remove content promoting violence and abuse.

Their spokesperson responded with the following statement: “GitHub has longstanding policies against content and conduct involving harassment, discrimination, and inciting violence. We suspended a user account following the investigation of reports of such activity, all of which violate our policies.”