This could have led to communal tension which the prompt arrests of three accused averted, the police said in a release.

Mumbai police chief Hemant Nagralepti
news Crime Wednesday, January 05, 2022 - 21:03

The persons involved in the promotion of the `Bulli Bai' app targeting Muslim women used names related to the Sikh community in Twitter handles in an attempt to mislead, Mumbai Police said on Wednesday. This could have led to communal tension which the prompt arrests of three accused averted, the police said in a release. 

Earlier, Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale had told reporters that police were probing why such aliases were used. "Names related to the Sikh community were used to make it look like these Twitter handles had been created by persons from that community," the police release issued in the evening said.

The women who were targeted were Muslim, so there was a possibility that it could have created "enmity between two communities" and led to "breach of public peace", it said. "As the accused were arrested in time", this was avoided, the police said.

The app, hosted on the GitHub platform, displayed photographs of women for "virtual auction", the release said, pointing out that this was similar to the Sullideals app case which had surfaced six months ago. The accused shared photos from the Bulli Bai app on Twitter by using handles like @bullibai_, @sage0x11, @jatkhalsa7, @wannabesigmaf, @jatkhalsa and @Sikh_khalsa11. The information on the Twitter handle of the app claimed that its creator was "KSF Khalsa Sikh Force", while another Twitter handle, "Khalsa Supremacist", was its follower, the release said.

During the technical analysis, police found the involvement of Vishal Kumar Jha (21), a second year civil engineering student of Dayanand Sagar College of engineering, Bengaluru, it said.

The `Khalsa Supremacist' handle, allegedly used by Jha, mentioned the user's location as Canada, the release said. He also ran a YouTube channel called "Tavasya Vats”. Police recovered a mobile phone, two SIM cards and a laptop from him.

A senior police official told PTI that the Twitter handle of the app was created by `prime accused' Shweta Singh (18) who was arrested from Rudrapur in Uttarakhand.

She had passed her class 12 exam in the science stream and was preparing to join an engineering course, he said.

Mayank Rawal (21), the third accused, was also an engineering student, police said.

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