An online app that set up forged photographs of Muslim women to harass and insult them at an auction drew condemnation from social media users on Saturday. This is the second time in the space of a year that such an application has been created.
In July, an app called “Sulli deals” posted hundreds of images of Muslim women for an “online auction.” “Sulli” is a derogatory term used to refer to Muslim women.
The new app, named “Bulli Bai,” would work similarly to “Sulli Deals,” NDTV reported. Muslim women with a number of Twitter followers were targeted on both apps, which were uploaded to the GitHub repository hosting service.
A complaint was filed on Saturday by Delhi-based journalist Ismat Ara, who posted a screenshot of the website. bulli.github.io who had posted his photo.
âIt’s very sad that as a Muslim woman you have to start your New Year with this feeling of fear and loathing,â she said. “Of course, it goes without saying that I am not the only one to be targeted in this new version of #sullideals.”
In her complaint, the reporter said bulli.github.io posted a falsified photo of her “in an inappropriate, unacceptable and clearly obscene context”. âI am often the target of online trolls and this seems to be the next step in such harassment,â she said.
The reporter said that “the offenses of sexual harassment under sections 354A (iv) [making sexually coloured remarks], 506 [criminal intimidation], 509 [words or gestures intended to sexually harass women] of the Indian Penal Code and Articles 66 [damaging computer data] and 67 [transmitting obscene material] of the law on information technologies âhad been clearly initiated.
Ara demanded that a first information report be filed under these provisions.
Deputy Police Commissioner (Southeast District) Esha Pandey said “appropriate legal action” would be taken, Indian express reported.
Meanwhile, the Union Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said GitHub blocked the portal on Saturday morning. He added that the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team and the police are “coordinating future actions.”
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said on Saturday she had spoken with the Mumbai Police Commissioner and the Maharashtra Police Director General to investigate the case. “Hoping that those who hide behind these misogynistic and sexist sites are apprehended,” she said.
Several opposition leaders condemned the harassment of Muslim women and called for action in this regard.
All India Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the application was “disgusting” and alleged that “the inaction of the authorities has made these criminals brazen”.
The Network of Women in Media called the case “shocking and utterly wrong.” The organization said it has taken legal action against the creators of the Sulli Deals app.
“This impunity continues to worsen, giving rise to more and more such vile applications,” the organization said.
In July, a first information report was filed based on a complaint received on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal against the application, the Delhi Police Cyber ââCell said. However, the police have not yet made any arrests in the “Sulli deals” case, according to Indian express.