The New Delhi Police have initiated an investigation into the Bulli Bai app, which put hundreds of Muslim women for “auction” using images stolen without their consent from their social media accounts.
The lawsuit was opened after a complaint was filed by journalist Ismat Ara, whose identity was also included on the open-source software.
Thousands of photographs of the ladies were published on the web platform GitHub, where users were encouraged to participate in the auction.
The sale is the second attempt in India to harass Muslim women.
The current inquiry comes barely six months after the outrage-inducing “Sulli Deals” app. The app used the pejorative epithet “sulli” to characterise Muslim women. The app featured over 80 women’s profiles, which used photographs they’d published online and marketed them as “bargain of the day.”
GitHub and the Computer Emergency Response Team have since disabled the account (CERT).
Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Information and Technology, confirmed on Twitter that CERT and the police are organising additional action.
GitHub confirmed blocking the user this morning itself.— Ashwini Vaishnaw (@AshwiniVaishnaw) January 1, 2022
CERT and Police authorities are coordinating further action. https://t.co/6yLIZTO5Ce
Priyanka Chaturvedi, a member of the Indian Parliament, brought the matter to the attention of Mumbai police.
Social media users have also expressed their concerns and support for the women, claiming that the targeting is intended to create physical and mental suffering. Many others went on to say that the persons behind the app are most likely members of right-wing groups.