Editorial

Govt should block ‘Bulli Bai’ over doctored photos of Muslim women

True, the 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.

This comes six months after police in Delhi registered case in connection with photos of Muslim women being uploaded and ‘auctioned’ on a Github app.

Union 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 and the police are coordinating further action,” Vaishnaw replied to a tweet by Shiv Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi.

While the Shiv Sena MP timely reminded that “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.”

Later, Priyanka Chaturvedi thanked the Union minister and hoped that the home minister’s office and ministry of electronics and Information Technology MEITY will support the Mumbai police to find these culprits. She further said “Sir, Thank you. With due respect, I had shared with you that besides blocking the platform punishing the offenders creating such sites is important. I hope the home minister’s office and MEITY will support the Mumbai police to find these culprits and make them as well as platforms accountable.”

A complaint was filed by a woman at the cyber police station where she alleged that her photo was uploaded on a website to target her. The complainant said that she was seeking immediate registration of FIR and immediate investigation against unknown people who are seeking to harass and insult Muslim women on social media and the Internet.

The matter has been taken cognisance of and concerned officials have been directed to take appropriate action. The complainant was shocked to find out that a website/portal “had a doctored picture of me in an improper, unacceptable and clearly lewd context.”

Social media being a form of public expression cannot be used to demean and derogate women in general and Muslim women in particular by misogynist sections of society. This is nothing short of online harassment and the tweet referred to herein is per se liable for criminal action.

The said ‘github’ is violent, threatening and intending to create a feeling of fear and shame in my mind, as well as in the minds of women in general, and the Muslim community whose women are being targeted in this hateful manner. In fact, this website has been targeting other Muslim women as well.

The Opposition leaders including newly formed Revolutionary Democratic Congress (RDC) Chief MA Mujeeb who is also the President of All India Muslim Federation ( a constituent of RDC) have also condemned the act and have called out the government and the Delhi police to take strict action.

It is unacceptable that this project of dangerous anti-Muslim misogyny is back. The appalling indictment of the state of affairs, that not only was nothing done last time, but these forces also felt emboldened to repeat the whole thing because the establishment backs them.

Disgusting. Inaction by authorities has made these criminals brazen. Ashwini Vaishnaw, National Commission for Women and the Delhi police please investigate and take strict action.

Communist Party of India leader Kavita Krishnan said,” In rage and solidarity with Ismat Araa, Samreen and other Muslim women being subjected to vile online “auctions” by rape-minded Sanghi filth. Deliberate police inaction on #sullideals has emboldened the terrorists to resurface as #bullibai.”

Earlier in July, the 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 also took suo moto cognisance of the “defunct website called ‘Sulli Deals’.