The Delhi Police have arrested a man believed to be the creator of the ‘Sulli Deals’ app from Indore in Madhya Pradesh, officials of the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit said on Sunday, January 9. The accused, Aumkareshwar Thakur (26), did his Bachelors in Computer Applications (BCA) from IPS Academy in Indore and is a resident of New York City Township, also in Indore, they said. This is the first arrest made in the Sulli Deals’ app case since the First Information Report (FIR) was filed in July 2021, police said. Hundreds of Muslim women were listed for auction on the mobile application in with photographs sourced without permission and doctored.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (IFSO) KPS Malhotra said that during preliminary interrogation, the accused admitted that he was a member of a group on Twitter and the idea to defame and troll Muslim women was shared there. "He had developed the code on GitHub. The access of GitHub was with all the members of the group. He had shared the app on his Twitter account. The photos of the Muslim women were uploaded by the group members," the officer said, according to PTI.
The IFSO is also probing the case of the similar and more recent ‘Bulli Bai’ app, which was transferred to the special unit after the Delhi police faced heavy criticism for not taking much action in both the ‘Sulli Deals’ and ‘Bulli Bai’ app cases. After the Mumbai police, who are separately investigating the ‘Bulli Bai’ app case, arrested three individuals in connection with the app, the IFSO police arrested the alleged “main conspirator and creator” of the app, Neeraj Bishnoi, from Assam on January 6, Thursday. According to some reports, Thakur was nabbed based on information they received upon questioning Bishnoi.
According to Delhi police, Bishnoi had disclosed during interrogation that he was also in touch with the person behind the Twitter handle @sullideals, the alleged creator of the 'Sulli Deals' app that was hosted on GitHub in July 2021. Police said Bishnoi has further disclosed that he was in touch with the persons arrested by the Mumbai Police and used to chat through Twitter. He also disclosed that he was using the Twitter account of Shweta Singh, who was arrested by the Mumbai Police, they said.
However, the Indore police have said that their Delhi counterparts have not shared any information with them regarding the arrest. Indore's Police Commissioner Harinarayanchari Mishra told PTI, “We have come to know only from the media about the arrest of Thakur from Indore by Delhi Police. The Delhi Police have not shared any official information with us in this regard so far.”
Mishra also said that the Indore police will consider starting an investigation into the matter after the Delhi Police share with them the official details of the case.
On Friday, January 7, Delhi police said that their investigation so far had suggested that Neeraj Bishnoi’s intention was to get publicity and make an identity of his own. The probe has so far not revealed anyone else's involvement in motivating him into doing such activities, and his action can be attributed to the type of social media content he consumed, Delhi police said.