GitHub user behind ‘Bulli Bai’ app blocked; IT Minister says further action being taken

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The ‘Bulli Bai’ app is similar to the ‘Sulli Deals’, which triggered a row last year by offering users a ‘sulli’ — an insulting term used by right-wing trolls and extremists for Muslim women

Representational image. News18

Delhi Police on Sunday registered a case based on a complaint filed by a woman journalist alleging that she was being targetted by an unidentified group of people on a mobile application named ‘Bulli Bai’ created on GitHub platform.

An FIR has been registered under Section 509 in Cyber Police station of South East district, Delhi Police said. This comes six months after police in Delhi registered a case in connection with photos of Muslim women being uploaded and “auctioned” on a Github app.

Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw late on Saturday tweeted that action has been taken and the GitHub user behind the ‘Bulli Bai’ app had been blocked and “further action” was being coordinated.

“GitHub confirmed blocking the user this morning itself. Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Police authorities are coordinating further action,” Vaishnaw said in a reply to a tweet by Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi.

Shiv Sena MP had asked, “I have repeatedly asked Hon. IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw ji to take stern action against such rampant misogyny and communal targeting of women through #sullideals like platforms. A shame that it continues to be ignored.”

Priyanka Chaturvedi later thanked the Union minister and hoped that the Home Minister’s Office and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will support Mumbai Police to find “these culprits.”

Meanwhile, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma tweeted Sunday that the matter had been ‘noted’ :

A female journalist on Saturday had filed a complaint with the Delhi Police against unknown persons for allegedly uploading her doctored picture on a website “with the intent of embarrassing and insulting Muslim women”.

She shared a copy of the complaint, submitted online at south Delhi’s CR Park police station, on her Twitter handle. The woman, who works with an online news portal, sought immediate registration of an FIR and investigation against the unknown set of people who are “seeking to harass and insult Muslim women” on social media and the internet.

“I was shocked to find out this morning that a website/portal called bullibai.github.io (since deleted) had a doctored picture of me in an improper, unacceptable and clearly lewd context. This needs immediate action, as the same is clearly designed to harass me and other similarly situated independent women and journalists,” the complaint stated.

“I enclose snapshots of the said tweet directed at me herein as well as of other tweets. The term Bulli bai’ itself seems disrespectful and the content of this website/portal (bullibai.github.io) is clearly aimed at insulting Muslim women as the derogatory term Bulli’ is used exclusively for Muslim women and the entire website seems to have been designed with the intent of embarrassing and insulting Muslim women,” she said.

Earlier in July, Delhi Police Special Cell had registered an FIR against the creators of a mobile application for allegedly uploading photos of Muslim women without their consent and using inappropriate remarks against them. The case is related to an app named ‘Sulli Deal’ that allegedly uploads photos of women without their consent and uses the hosting platform ‘GITHUB’ to auction the stolen photos. The National Commission for Women (NCW) also took suo moto cognisance of the “defunct website called ‘Sulli Deals.

The ‘Bulli Bai’ app which is similar to ‘Sulli Deals’, offered users a ‘sulli’ — an insulting term used by right-wing trolls and extremists for Muslim women. In both cases there was no actual sale involved, but that was hardly the point. The purpose of the apps was to degrade, humiliate and harass its targets, critics say, according to an NDTV report.

Two FIRs were filed by the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh Police in the Sulli Deals incident last year but no concrete action has been taken against the perpetrators so far.

Opposition leaders slammed the government and demanded Delhi Police take strict action.

Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP Thiruvananthapuram

Karti Chidambaram, Congress MP Shivaganga

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi

CPIML Politburo member, Kavita Krishnan:

With input from agencies

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