Mumbai cyber police have arrested one more sex offender from Uttarakhand in connection with the ‘Bulli Bai’ app case, an official told PTI on Wednesday, January 5. The student, identified as Mayank Rawal (21), was nabbed from the northern state in the early hours of Wednesday, the official said. The cyber cell of Mumbai police had earlier arrested Shweta Singh (18) from Uttarakhand, and engineering student Vishal Kumar Jha (21) from Bengaluru in connection with the case.
Earlier, Maharashtra Minister Satej Patil had told TNM that police believe there is a larger network at work and that the police have sufficient proof to believe that the college student who was first arrested in the case, and others were enlisted by someone else. “They were used by someone else to target these women, we want to expose them. We will look into whether they belong to any organisation, party etc,” he had told TNM earlier.
The Mumbai police had registered a First Information Report (FIR) against unidentified persons following complaints that doctored photographs of hundreds of Muslim women were uploaded for ‘auction’ on the app called ‘Bulli Bai’, hosted on the open-source software platform GitHub. While there was no actual ‘auction’ or ‘sale’, the purpose of the app seemed to be to humiliate and intimidate the targeted women, many of whom are vocal Muslim women who are active social media users.
The Mumbai cyber police station has also registered a case against the app’s unidentified developers and Twitter handles which promoted it.
This ‘auction’ of Muslim women on GitHub has happened for the second time in less than a year. The app appeared to be a clone of ‘Sulli Deals’ which had triggered a massive row last year, but no arrests have been made in that case. Police had initially filed a First Information Report (FIR) against unknown persons following complaints that photographs of Muslim women were uploaded for ‘auction’ on the app hosted by GitHub platform. The app had drawn widespread outrage from social media users, as well as in political circles. The Delhi Police sought details from the GitHub platform about the developer of the app and asked Twitter to block and remove related “offensive contents” on its platform.
A case was registered by the Mumbai police against the developers of the app on January 1 under sections 354-D (stalking of women), 500 (Punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other sections of the Information Technology Act.
This report first appeared at The News Minute