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  • A few days ago, hundreds of Muslim women woke up to see their images splashed across Bulli Bai, an app which invited bids for their auction.
  • The app surfaced on 1 January, 2022 on Github. The women whose pictures were being displayed on the app include prominent figures, politicians and journalists, amongst others. This incident has sparked massive outrage in the country, and rightly so.
  • This brings back memories of the Sulli Deals, an infamous app that surfaced in July 2020, that also auctioned muslim women, sparking massive outrage internationally. But no action was taken against the people behind the app. It is being said that this must have emboldened the offenders, who have now come back with this new app, meant to derogate and objectify Muslim women.
  • Along with the pictures, many personal details of the women have also been released, leading to a blatant and a very serious violation of their privacy. The people who were visiting the app have been making dummy bids on the women, judging them on the basis of their body and making lewd sexual remarks and making rape threats.
  • While there was no real auction or sale, the main purpose behind the app seems to be to humiliate, degrade and target women, majority of whom are avid social media users.
  • Thankfully, the law enforcement agencies have been very proactive this time around. Four arrests have been made in relation to this case. The first one being that of an 18 year-old Shweta Singh who is speculated to be the mastermind in this case. She was arrested from Udham Singh Nagar, a district in Uttarakhand. She is currently preparing for her entrance examinations. She is also an orphan, having lost her father to Covid and her mother to cancer a few years back.
  • Shweta also has a twitter account by the name of a Khalsa leader from which she has posted many derogatory remarks looking to fuel religious enmity.
  • Another arrest has been of a 21 year-old engineering student named Vishal Kumar Jha, although his lawyer claims that he has been falsely implicated in this case.
  • Another arrest on Thursday was made of Niraj Bishnoi, who is speculated to be the main conspirator in the case. He is a second year B-tech student studying in VIT, Vellore.
  • Mayank Rawat, another conspirator, was also arrested from Uttarakhand. Son of an army Subedar, he is currently studying chemistry at Zakir Hussain College.
  • A Nepal connection has also surfaced in this case. Apparently Shweta was acting on the orders from a ‘friend’ named Giyou, who is operating from Nepal. It was on his instructions that she created a twitter account called @jattkhalsa07, and stared uploading photos of women from the Muslim community.
  • This incident and the other back in 2020 clearly shows how dangerous technology can be, if it falls into the wrong hands. It is also making us wonder the depths that humanity can fall to when fueled by an intense hatred for people of other communities.
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