A case was registered by the Mumbai police against the developers of the ‘Bulli Bai’ app. They did this 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. They have also asked Twitter to block and remove related “offensive content” on its platform.
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. It was after this that the case was lodged. A case in this connection was also lodged by the Delhi and Hyderabad police.
Mumbai cyber police have detained a woman, believed to be the main accused in the Bulli Bai app case. She is from Uttarakhand. They have also arrested an engineering student from Bengaluru in the case, officials said on Tuesday.
Police had earlier filed a first information report (FIR) against unidentified persons following complaints that photographs of Muslim women were uploaded for the ‘auction’ on the app hosted by the GitHub platform. The official, however, refused to divulge any further details.
“A crime branch team is in Uttarakhand and the woman’s questioning is on,” he said. “She will be produced before a court there for transit remand and will then be brought to Mumbai,” he said.
Earlier, the cyber police also arrested a 21-year-old engineering student, identified as Vishal Kumar, from Bengaluru in connection with the case, the official said.
Both the persons are known to each other, the official said, adding that further probe into the case is underway. Hundreds of Muslim women were listed for ‘auction’ on the Bulli Bai’ app with photographs sourced without permission and doctored. It 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.
Amid outrage over Muslim women being targeted through the dodgy app, the Delhi Police had 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.
The police had also sought from Twitter information about the account handler who first tweeted about the app. Leaders from across the political spectrum condemned the cyber harassment of women belonging to the minority community and called for strict action against the guilty.
Terming the matter “serious“, the Delhi Minorities Commission had issued a notice to city police chief Rakesh Asthana seeking an action-taken report on January 10. It had said the interests of Muslim women need to be safeguarded by nabbing the culprits.