Woman Allegedly Behind 'Bulli Bai' App Auctioning Muslim Women Detained in India's Uttarakhand

CC BY-SA 2.0 / Hernán Piñera / Look through the windowA woman wearing a hijab looks through the window
A woman wearing a hijab looks through the window - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.01.2022
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Mumbai Police in India's Maharashtra state on Monday arrested a 21-year-old engineering student Vishal Kumar Jha from Karnataka state's Bengaluru city, who is suspected to be connected with the "Bulli Bai" app which lists more than 100 Muslim women - including journalists, social workers, students and celebrities - for 'online auction’.
A woman - who is allegedly the mastermind behind the controversial "Bulli Bai" app, which listed more than 100 Muslim women in an online auction - was arrested in India's Uttarakhand state by Mumbai Police.
She will appear before the local court where police will seek her deportation to Mumbai where the case is being investigated.
The "Bulli Bai" controversy kicked off on 1 January after hundreds of Muslim women found themselves listed in an online auction on the app hosted by GitHub platform.
The photographs were sourced without the individuals' permission, in an apparent attempt to target and harass Muslim women.
Mumbai police investigating the case have already apprehended a 21-year-old engineering student Vishal Kumar Jha from Bengaluru city who has been brought to Mumbai for questioning and will remain in police custody until 10 January.
An official said the woman and the engineering student were followers of the controversial app and both will be confronted with each other during the investigation.
Vishal Kumar Jha's lawyer D Prajapati, told the Indian media that his client has been falsely implicated in this case.
The "Bulli Bai" app was also promoted by a Twitter handle with the name @bullibai which has been suspended after people reported it.
App-hosting platform Github has also removed "Bulli Bai" from its network.
The "Bulli Bai" app appears to be the clone of a similar app, "Sulli Deals", that sparked uproar in July 2021 after photos of dozens of Muslim women were uploaded for auction as the “deal of the day”.
"Sulli" and "Bulli" are derogatory words used by some Hindus to describe Muslim women.
Although police complaints were filed in the Sulli deals case, no arrest has yet been made.
In the case of Bulli Bai, several police complaints have been filed in three different states — Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, as well as in the Union Territory of Delhi.
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