A 21-year-old engineering student was held in Bengaluru in a raid by a Mumbai Police team in connection with the ‘Bulli Bai’ controversy. While the Mumbai police did not divulge details, the student was brought to Mumbai on Monday, January 3. The controversy surrounds the ‘Bulli Bai’ app on hosting platform Github, on which pictures of Muslim women, including journalists, activists, students and others, were posted and ‘auctioned’ without their consent. UPDATE: ‘Bulli Bai’ case: Bengaluru engineering student Vishal arrested by Mumbai police
The Mumbai police registered an FIR against developers of 'Bulli Bai' app and Twitter handles that promoted this application. Hundreds of Muslim women were listed for "auction" on the app, with photographs sourced without permission and doctored. This has happened for the second time in less than a year. The app appeared to be a clone of ‘Sulli Deals’, which triggered a similar row last year. The arrested student was one of the followers of the ‘Bulli Bai’ Twitter handle, which led the police to him, officials said.
“The 21-year-old is a second-year civil engineering student. He used his Twitter handle to share derogatory content from the Bulli Bai app. We have detained him,” a senior IPS officer told reporters. The officer added that the student was traced through the IP address of the Twitter accounts that were used to upload the pictures. The student has not been arrested yet, he said. When asked if the student was also involved in developing the app or is part of a larger gang, the officer replied, “We will be questioning him about all this.”
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, an official told PTI. "The West region of Cyber Police registered the FIR against Twitter handle holders and the 'Bulli Bai' app developers hosted on GitHub," the official said.
The app has 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 'Bulli Bai' mobile application and asked Twitter to block and remove related "offensive contents" on its platform. Terming the matter "serious", Delhi Minorities Commission issued a notice to city police chief Rakesh Asthana seeking an action-taken report on January 10. It said the interests of Muslim women need to be safeguarded by nabbing the culprits.
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has also asked police officials to appear before it later this week. Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha member Priyanka Chaturvedi wrote to Mumbai Police after which the case was lodged. A case in this connection was also lodged by the Delhi and Hyderabad police.
With IANS and PTI inputs