‘Bulli Bai’ app case: Mumbai Police arrest one more student; Centre blocks Telegram channel targeting Hindu women
Authorities nabbed 21-year-old Mayank Rawal from Uttarakhand, a day after they caught hold of Shweta Singh, believed to be the mastermind behind the derogatory 'Bulli Bai' app
After arresting a woman, believed to be the mastermind of the ‘Bulli Bai’ app, from Uttarakhand and another 21-year-old engineering student from Bengaluru, the Mumbai Police has arrested one more student from Uttarakhand.
The arrest comes at the same time as the Centre blocked a Telegram channel that allegedly targeted Hindu women and circulated obscene photos and abused them online.
Here are all the latest developments in the ‘Bulli Bai’ app case.
According to news agency PTI, authorities from Mumbai's cyber wing arrested one more person from Uttarakhand on Wednesday.
The student, identified as Mayank Rawal (21), was nabbed from the northern state in the early hours of Wednesday, an official said.
His arrest comes a day after the cops nabbed 18-year-old Shweta Singh from Uttarakhand’s Udham Singh Nagar.
The police have said that Shweta is the mastermind behind the crime. She had allegedly uploaded pictures of Muslim women on the app hosted on GitHub, using three different accounts.
According to an IndiaToday report, Shweta lost her father to COVID-19 last year and lost her mother to cancer before this. The report further stated that she was using a fake Twitter handle with the name JattKhalsa07 to upload hate posts and objectionable photos and comments.
The Mumbai Police had registered a First Information Report (FIR) against unidentified persons following complaints that doctored photographs of hundreds of Muslim women were uploaded for auction' on the app called `Bulli Bai', hosted on the open-source software platform GitHub.
While there was no actual `auction' or `sale', the purpose of the app seemed to be to humiliate and intimidate the targeted women, many of whom are active social media users.
The Mumbai cyber police station has also registered a case against the app's unidentified developers and Twitter handles which promoted it.
Telegram channel blocked
Amid the ongoing ‘Bulli Bai’ controversy, another channel on Telegram came to light on Tuesday that allegedly targeted Hindu women.
The channel was created on the cross-platform Telegram in which photos of Hindu women were allegedly shared.
After a series of viral tweets on Twitter, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology blocked the channel.
IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Twitter, “Channel blocked. Government of India coordinating with police authorities of states for action.”
Channel blocked. Government of India coordinating with police authorities of states for action. https://t.co/kCB6Ys8TI2
— Ashwini Vaishnaw (@AshwiniVaishnaw) January 5, 2022
Reminiscent of ‘Sulli Deals’
The ‘Bulli Bai’ app and the new channel on Telegram are very similar to the 'Sulli Deals' incident.
In July 2021, a website called ‘Sulli Deals’ had surfaced, carrying photographs of around 90 women 'on sale'.
The Delhi Police had registered a case against unknown persons days after the incident, and said that it had sent notices to GitHub — which had hosted the website — seeking details.
However, no arrests were made in the case.
With inputs from agencies
The court considered that the accused are first time offenders and continued incarceration would be detrimental to their overall wellbeing
The VIT administration took action against Bishnoi soon after his involvement in the case came to light, an official said
Neeraj Bishnoi is the main conspirator and creator of the "Bulli Bai" app on the platform GitHub and also the main Twitter account holder of "Bulli Bai"