NEW DELHI: IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw confirmed that the government has blocked a Telegram channel that allegedly targeted Hindu women and circulated obscene photos and abused them online. This comes after the Mumbai Police arrested a couple of suspects over the on-going Bulli Bai app case which targeted and abused Muslim women online.
Soon after the Bulli Bai app controversy had spread on social media and people started slamming right wing groups across India for targeting Muslim women, social media users started to highlight groups and Telegram channels that targeted Hindu women. After seeing the quick arrests made by the police to tackle the Bulli Bai case, people questioned the government as to why no steps have been taken to prevent online harassment of Hindu women.
One particular Telegram channel called ‘Hindu Randiyan’ was called out for spreading obscene photos of women and hate messages. This Telegram channel is now blocked after the outrage.
“Channel blocked. Government of India coordinating with police authorities of states for action,” tweeted IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. There’s no information yet on who created this Telegram channel and what action the police have taken.
Telegram group and Bulli Bai: Two sides of the same coin
While people may divide both the incidents with respect to religion, there’s no denying that both target women online and it’s a form of online harassment. Now, in both the cases the women had got no clue whatsoever about how their photos became viral. Some low-life crooks may have stolen images from social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, etc and made fake profiles or morphed their photos.
Later, these photos were circulated on social media to harass women online. The religion or the social media platform may be different but the modus operandi is similar.
In the case of Bulli Bai, a bunch of perverts gathered photos from sites like LinkedIn and Twitter of successful and influential women, belonging to the Muslim community, and created an app called Bulli Bai on GitHub. Through that app, photos of the woman were showcased with the caption “Your Bulli Bai of the Day” is…
While the Bulli Bai app was known to a very small set of online users, what converted this into a full-fledged online harassment was when a section of Twitter users started tagging the handles of women found on the Bulli Bai app. Soon, the app became viral and the targeted women started to get trolled and bullied online.