A special cell of the Delhi police investigating the case of the ‘Bulli Bai’ app has arrested the main conspirator and creator of the app on GitHub platform, Delhi police said on January 6, Thursday. The main accused has been identified as 21-year-old Neeraj Bishnoi, who hails from Assam. He was arrested from Assam by the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police, and was being brought to the national capital on the afternoon of January 6. The accused is a resident of Digambar area in Assam's Jorhat district, pursuing BTech at the Bhopal branch of Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), IFSO officials reportedly said.
According to reports, Mumbai police was also in Assam to nab Neeraj and was just an hour away from his location, but the Delhi police detained him. According to reports, the online platform GitHub has given information to both police teams in connection with the probe. Sources told TNM that police prima facie believe that Neeraj Bishnoi was behind Twitter handles with the name Giyu, and designed the app.
After facing much criticism for not taking any action in both the ‘Sulli Deals’ and ‘Bulli Bai’ app cases, the Delhi Police had transferred the case of the ‘Bulli Bai’ app, which targeted Muslim women by putting up their images online for ‘auction', to its IFSO unit on Tuesday, January 4. This is the first arrest made in the case by the Delhi police. The IFSO is also probing the case of ‘Sulli Deals’, a similar app, which came to light in July 2020. The Mumbai police, who are also separately investigating the case, have arrested three people so far.
On Wednesday, January 5, the Mumbai police made its third arrest in the ‘Bulli Bai’ case; Mayank Rawal (21) was nabbed from Uttarakhand in the early hours of Wednesday. Shweta Singh (18) had been arrested on Tuesday, January 4, from Rudrapur in the same state, while engineering student Vishal Kumar Jha (21) was detained from Bengaluru and was also arrested on Tuesday.
The Mumbai police have said that the accused seemed to have used names related to the Sikh community in their Twitter handles which promoted the app, in order to mislead people about their identity. Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale told reporters that some more people were likely to be involved in the matter. "As per the status of the handle (linked to the app), it says Bulli Bai is a community driven open source app by Khalsa Sikh Force. So why this (alias) is there, that is part of our investigation," the Commissioner had said.
Mumbai Police registered a First Information Report (FIR) after receiving a complaint about the app on January 2, following which investigators started technical analysis of the app and the related Twitter handle, Nagrale said.
After Uttarakhand police made a statement that Shweta Singh, who was arrested by the Mumbai police, got involved in the case for money, Maharashtra Minister Satej Patil responded and said that Mumbai police will probe these claims too, and find out who was paying her.
Meanwhile, the Hyderabad police have also registered an FIR in the case, based on a complaint from social activist Khalida Parveen, whose name and image were also featured in the app.
Watch: Bulli Bai: Muslim women put up for ‘sale’ on app | Let Me Explain
With PTI inputs