ⓘ Featured Image: Neeraj Bishnoi (L), the mastermind of Bulli Bai; and Aumkareshwar Thakur (R), the main accused of Sulli Deals
- A total of 4 arrests have been made by the police in Bulli Bai case
- The main accused of the Sulli Deals has been arrested.
- Further investigation by the police and operations are underway
The Bulli Bai app that stimulates the auction of hundreds of Indian Muslim women has made news headlines since the beginning of the new year 2022. The scandal is completely similar to last year’s Sulli Deals app.
On Thursday, January 6th, Delhi Police captured the mastermind behind the Bulli Bai app named Neeraj Bishnoi. The arrest was made by Delhi Police’s special cell Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) in Assam.
The IP address of Bishnoi was traced to Jorhat city of Assam – said Ankur Jain, Jorhat Superintendent of Police (SP) in a press statement.
Speaking of the quick alignment between Delhi Police and Jorhat Police, Ankur Jain (SP) said,
“They (Delhi Police) communicated with us and told us they were looking for one Neeraj Bishnoi. Our team also went and we arrested him,”
Neeraj Bishnoi is a 21-year-old computer science student from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and a resident of Digambar Chowk in Jorhat. His IP address was earlier traced to Rajasthan. He returned to Jorhat on December 25th.
Police have seized all electronic devices of Bishnoi and none of the family members has been arrested.
This is the fourth arrest in the Bulli Bai case so far by the police.
The first arrests in the Bulli Bai conspiracy were made by the Mumbai Police on Tuesday, January 4th. Mumbai Police arrested a person named Vishal Kumar, an engineering student from Bengaluru, and Shweta Singh in the northern state of Uttarakhand.
On Wednesday, January 5th, a person named Mayank Rawat was also nabbed by the police in Uttarakhand.
Speaking of the same, Satej Patel, Maharashtra state’s junior home minister, in a statement to BBC, said,
“A few more people have been detained for questioning. We will investigate this case to its logical end,”
The app was hosted on the popular software collaboration platform GitHub rather than Google Playstore and Apple App Store.
Bulli Bai – a second attempt to harass Muslim women
Bulli Bai is a second attempt under the bigger umbrella of harassing hundreds of Muslim women by listing their names and photographs without consent – putting them on ‘sale’ in a fake auction. These include renowned names of female Muslim journalists and activists.
Before Bulli Bai, another app and website named ‘Sulli Deals‘ were created last year with the same objective – running a fake auction of over 80 Muslim women.
According to various media platforms, the term ‘Sulli’ is a derogatory Hindi slang used by right-wing Hindus to troll Muslim women, and ‘Bulli’ is also similar.
Delhi Police arrests Sulli Deals mastermind
The recent arrest of Bulli Bai mastermind Neeraj Bishnoi revealed his connection with the Sulli Deals creators to the Police. A person identified as Aumkareshwar Thakur was arrested by the Delhi Police in Indore, Madhya Pradesh on Sunday, January 9th.
This is the first arrest made by the police in the Sulli Deals case so far.
According to the police, the Sulli Deals accused Aumkareshwar Thakur completed his BCA from IPS Academy and a resident of New York City Township, Indore.
Notably, the Sulli Deals digital properties were also hosted on GitHub just like the Bulli Bai.
Police told media that Neeraj Bishnoi during interrogation revealed that he was in touch with the Sulli Deals creator.
The Police also said that Neeraj has a habit of hacking into school and university websites of India and Pakistan.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, KPS Malhotra in a statement said that Aumkareshwar Thakur has admitted that he was a member of a Twitter group named ‘Tradmahasabha’ that promoted the idea of defaming Muslim women. He joined the Twitter group in January 2020 and developed Sulli Deals on GitHub. As soon as Sulli Deals started facing social unrest from people, Thakur removed all his social media activity and traces.
The initial notice to Delhi Police
A few women who were listed on the Bulli Bai app took on Twitter to express their agony and go vocal about the instance. Some of them also tagged Police’s Twitter handles.
The renowned Kashmiri journalist Quratulain Rehbar who also reported about Sulli Deals last year, tweeted,
Police’s further operations are afoot in both Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals cases.