Mumbai: The Cyber Cell of Mumbai Police on Monday opposed the bail pleas of the three students arrested in the ‘Bulli Bai‘ app case, saying that the preliminary investigation found that the accused were also involved in ‘Sulli Deals’ app case.
“Preliminary probe has revealed that apart from the Bulli Bai app, the arrested accused were also active in the ‘Sulli’ deals app of July 2021 and further probe is required to be done with this regard,” the police said.
Both Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals apps targeted Muslim women and triggered widespread outrage as they had put out details of Muslim women allowing users to participate in an ‘auction’ of those women.
Opposing the bail pleas of Vishal Kumar Jha, Shweta Singh and Mayank Rawat in Bulli Bai app case, the Cyber Cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch in its reply to a city court in Mumbai stated that as per preliminary investigation, the accused committed the crime with the help of Niraj Bishnoi, Bulli Bai app creator who was arrested by the Delhi police.
Additionally, Mumbai police said three accused deceptively used names belonging to the Sikh community for their social media accounts with an intention to breach peace in the society and create animosity among religious groups, according to a PTI report.
“The accused persons have created the Bulli Bai app by impersonating as Sikh group followers and the intention behind this needs to be ascertained through further probe,” the police said. They added that further investigation was required to ascertain if any person was instigating the arrested accused to target women from a particular community.
“Probe is also on to see if there was any monetary gains by the accused for which bank statements (of the arrested accused) has to be looked into,” the affidavit said.
The court has posted the matter for further hearing on Jan 18.
The police, while seeking the court to reject the bail pleas of the three accused, argued that they “could flee or tamper with evidence in the case.”
Singh (18) and Rawat (21) were arrested by the Mumbai police’s cyber cell from Uttarakhand on January 5, while Jha was nabbed from Bengaluru on January 4. All three are currently in judicial custody with Jha and Rawat quarantined in a BMC-run facility after they tested positive for coronavirus.
During the hearing, the police added that a team has been sent to Delhi to seek custody of two more persons Niraj Bishnoi, arrested in Bulli Bai app case lodged by the Delhi Police, and one Omkareshwar Thakur, apprehended in the Sulli deals app case.
The police said that the accused were “highly active on social media and were posting material which could cause a breach of peace in the society.”
A Delhi court had earlier rejected the bail applications of Thakur and Bishnoi.
Niraj Bishnoi (20), a B.Tech student, was arrested from Assam by Delhi Police Special Cell’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit (IFSO) team for alleged involvement in the Bulli Bai case.
A Bandra court had earlier sent Bulli Bai app case co-accused Shweta Singh and Mayank Rawat into 14-day judicial custody till January 28. Earlier, they were under Mumbai Cyber Cell police custody till January 14.
Vishal Kumar Jha has been to judicial custody will January 24.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI)