Bulli Bai case: 18-year-old main accused arrested from Uttarakhand
The Mumbai Police on Tuesday detained a woman from Uttarakhand, who is reportedly the main accused in the 'Bulli Bai' case. The woman is now being brought to Mumbai for investigation. She will reportedly be produced in Uttarakhand court for transit remand. This is the second detention in the case after a 21-year-old engineering student was detained from Bengaluru on Monday.
Why does this story matter?
Photographs of over 100 Muslim women, including notable actors, journalists, activists, and politicians, were placed on the app named "Bulli Bai" for auction. The matter came to light on January 1 as several Muslim women found themselves on "auction" on the app. Last July, a similar application named "Sulli deals" on GitHub had displayed photographs of more than 80 Muslim women for "sale."
The engineering student is a co-accused in the case and reportedly knows the 18-year-old accused. They are friends on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The woman was reportedly handling three accounts related to the Bulli Bai app controversy. The co-accused student opened an account by the name "Khalsa supremist," according to reports.
Targeted women were vocal on sociopolitical issues
The matter came to light on January 1 after several Muslim women found their photos on the app for "auction." Reportedly, many of their photos had been doctored. Most of the targeted women were notably vocal on the subject of political and social issues.
Opposition had demanded action
Opposition leaders like Congress' Rahul Gandhi and Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi had earlier spoken up about the Bulli Bai case. "The insult of women and communal hatred will stop only when we stand against it in one voice. It is time to speak up," Gandhi had tweeted. Chaturvedi expressed concern over the fact that a woman is behind the network of this harassment.
Bulli Bai app blocked; 'further action' pending
Meanwhile, Union Information and Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said GitHub, the hosting platform, has blocked the user behind the app. Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT)—the nodal agency that deals with cyber security—is coordinating with police for further action, Vaishnav added. "Govt Of India is working with police organizations in Delhi and Mumbai on this matter," he said without elaborating on the action being taken.
2 FIRs registered
Both the Mumbai Police and the Delhi Police have registered FIRs in the case. While the Mumbai Police has tracked down two accused, the Delhi Police is still looking into the matter. Incidentally, the Delhi Police comes under Union Home Ministry.