‘Bulli Bai’ app case: two suspected culprits taken under custody
Officials claimed on Tuesday that the Mumbai Police’s cyber unit, which is investigating the ‘Bulli Bai’ app case issue, has arrested a 19-year-old lady from Uttarakhand and a 21-year-old engineering student from Bengaluru.
Vishal Kumar Jha, the student, and Shweta Singh, the co-accused from Uttarakhand, were allegedly acquainted. More arrests are expected, according to police.
While Jha was detained in police custody in Mumbai till January 10, Shweta Singh was granted a four-day transit remand by city police in the northern state so that she could be transferred here. According to a top police source, she would be brought before a Mumbai court on Wednesday.
‘Bulli Bai app’ case. Following allegations that doctored images of hundreds of Muslim women were put for ‘auction’ on an app named ‘Bulli Bai,’ housed on the open-source software platform GitHub, the Mumbai Police filed a First Information Report (FIR) against unidentified persons.
The objective of the programme seems to be to embarrass and threaten the targeted women, many of whom are active social media users, despite the fact that there was no genuine ‘auction’ or’sale.’
Shweta Singh was detained in Uttarakhand by a squad of Mumbai cyber police, according to an officer, who added that she was running many accounts related to the app.
On Monday, engineering student Jha was seized in Bengaluru and afterwards brought here in connection with the case.
The app’s mysterious developers and Twitter handles that promoted it have also been charged by the Mumbai cyber police station.
According to the senior police official, Jha used the handle ‘Khalsa Supremacist’ on Twitter and had changed the identities of several other false accounts to mimic Sikh names.
He added that police will look into if there was any attempt to incite religious strife in Punjab, where elections are expected this year.
An official previously stated that some other Twitter profiles promoting the programme included photographs or caricatures of Turbaned people in their profile pictures, and the messages in question contained text in Punjabi script, in an apparent attempt to mislead about the identity.
On Tuesday, Mumbai police presented Vishal Kumar Jha before the Bandra metropolitan magistrate’s court, seeking 10 days’ incarceration.
He was remanded in police detention until January 10 by the court.
It also gave the police permission to conduct searches at his Bengaluru home.
The police told the court that the two accused will be questioned together when the suspect detained in Uttarakhand (Shweta Singh, later nabbed) was brought here and her custody was obtained.
“In this case, my client Vishal Jha has been falsely accused. He has nothing to do with the development of this app or any of the false accounts. His lawyer, Dinesh Prajapati, told PTI that he is merely a student.
Jha did not know Shweta, according to Prajapati.
The Bulli Bai app (since disabled by GitHub) is the second instance of this type of sexual harassment and cyberbullying directed at women of colour.
Last year, a similar app and website called ‘Sulli Deals’ was discovered.
In response to the outrage, the Delhi Police have requested information from the GitHub platform regarding the makers of the ‘Bulli Bai’ mobile application, as well as a request from Twitter to restrict and remove “offensive content” related to the app.
The authorities were also looking for information from Twitter on the account handler who was the first to tweet about the app.
Leaders from all political parties condemned the online abuse and demanded that the perpetrators be held accountable.
The Delhi Minorities Commission has issued a notice to Delhi police head Rakesh Asthana, requesting a report on the action taken by January 10.
Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil and Minister of State for Home Satej Patil said on Tuesday that the perpetrators would face severe punishment.
Satel Patil thanked the Mumbai police for their “quick action,” but added that such coordinated assaults appeared to be the result of a “far larger network,” and that the city police will uncover the “entire nexus that is facilitating hate crimes against women in our country.”