After anger at Muslim women being ‘auctioned’ by right-wing extremists – for the second time in less than a year – IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted a short two-line late on Saturday to say that the GitHub user behind the ‘Bulli Bai‘ app was blocked and ‘further action’ was being coordinated.
The short post was in response to a plea from Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, who yesterday tagged Vaishnaw asking him to act against “rampant misogyny and women’s common targets”.
“GitHub (the Microsoft-owned software sharing platform used to build and run the ‘Bulli Bai‘ app) itself confirmed the user’s block this morning. CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team, an office within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, or MEITY) and police authorities are coordinating further action,” Mr Vaishnaw tweeted.
GitHub itself confirmed this morning to block the user.
The CERT and the police are coordinating further action. https://t.co/6yLIZTO5Ce
— Ashwini Vaishnaw (@AshwiniVaishnaw) January 1, 2022
Ms Chaturvedi thanked the minister for his tweet but said more had to be done.
“Sir, thank you. With all due respect, I had shared with you that in addition to blocking the platform, punishing the violators who create such sites is important. I hope the Ministry of Home Affairs and MEITY will support the Mumbai Police to find these culprits and make them responsible as well.”
Thank you sir. With all due respect, I shared with you that in addition to blocking the platform, punishing the violators who create such sites is important. I hope @HMOIndia & @GoI_MeitY will support @MumbaiPolice to find these culprits and make them responsible as well as platforms #BulliDealshttps://t.co/o1wXAnJVYq
– Priyanka Chaturvedi???????? (@priyankac19) January 1, 2022
The Mumbai Police has launched an investigation at the request of Ms Chaturvedi.
Delhi police have also launched a case filed by journalist Ismat Ara, who was one of several women listed on the despicable and disgusting application for ‘auction’.
the ‘Bulli Bai‘app turned out to be a clone of’Sullic Deals’, which caused a huge riot last year by users a ‘sullic‘ – an insulting term used by right-wing trolls and extremists for Muslim women.
In both cases there was no actual sale, but that was not the point.
The purpose of the apps was to humiliate, humiliate and harass, the targets and critics said.
“It is very sad that as a Muslim woman you have to start your new year with this feeling of fear and disgust. It goes without saying that I am not the only one being targeted by this new version of ‘sulli’ deals Screenshot sent by a friend this morning,” Ismat Ara tweeted.
It is very sad that as a Muslim woman you have to start your new year with this feeling of fear and disgust. It goes without saying that I am not the only one targeted by this new version of #sullideals. Screenshot sent by a friend this morning.
Happy New Year. pic.twitter.com/pHuzuRrNXR
— Ismat Ara (@IsmatAraa) January 1, 2022
“There are many Muslim names, including mine, in the unpleasant”Bulli Bai‘, the same as ‘Sullic Offers’. Even Najeeb’s mother was not spared. It is a reflection on India’s broken legal system, a dilapidated law and order scheme. Are we becoming the most unsafe country for women?” Says Sayema, a popular radio personality.
There are many Muslim names, including mine, in the unpleasant #BulliDeals , the same as #SulliDeals
Even Najeeb’s mother was not spared. It is a reflection on India’s broken legal system, a dilapidated law and order. Are we becoming the most unsafe country for women?
— Sayema (@_sayema) January 1, 2022
Opposition leaders have also condemned the horrific app and its creators and have called on the government to let such criminal actions go unpunished.
“It is unacceptable that this project of dangerous anti-Islamic misogyny is back. Horrible indictment of the state of affairs, that not only was nothing done last time, but these forces felt encouraged to repeat the whole thing because the establishment supports them,” Congress MP Karti Chidambaram tweeted.
the ‘Bulli Bai‘ app has been removed by GitHub, allowing anyone to upload and share an app in development. the ‘Sullic The Deals app was also shared via GitHub.
Two FIRs, or First Information Reports, were filed by police in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh about the ‘Sullic Deals app, but no significant action has been taken against those responsible.
With input from PTI