Bulli Bai app row: Delhi Police seeks info from Twitter, GitHub; directs removal of offensive content
New Delhi: The Delhi Police has sought details from the GitHub platform about the developer of the controversial ‘Bulli Bai’ mobile application and has written to Twitter for information about the account handler who first posted about the app, officials said on Monday.
The city police also asked Twitter to block and remove on the microblogging platform any “offensive content” shared from the ‘Bulli Bai’ app’, which had put up pictures of hundreds of Muslim women including prominent personalities for “auction”, they said.
After widespread outrage and demands for action against those behind the app, IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said on Sunday that the government is working with police in Delhi and Mumbai, where cases have been registered in the matter.
He also said that GitHub has blocked the user who had uploaded the app and that the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), the country’s nodal agency on cyber security, and police are coordinating further action in the matter.
The National Commission for Women had also written to the Delhi Police to expedite its action in the case related to the app to ensure that such crimes do not recur.
A senior police Delhi Police officer said on Monday, “As part of the ongoing probe into the matter, we have written to Twitter seeking information about the account handle who had first tweeted about the ‘Bulli Bai’ app.
“This is to know how the person concerned came across the alleged application which had offensive contents being written about women of a particular community.”
The police said they have also approached GitHub platform to share details about the developer of the ‘Bulli Bai’ application which is available on its platform to know the intention and purpose behind the creation of such an application and its whereabouts.
“We have also asked Twitter to remove and block any such offensive contents from its platform immediately which are shared through the alleged app and are related to the entire controversy,” he said.
The development comes after the Delhi Police on Saturday night registered an FIR against unknown persons for allegedly uploading a doctored picture of a woman journalist on a website.
The journalist had lodged an online complaint and shared a copy on Twitter.
The case was registered at the Cyber Police station of the southeast district on Saturday night, the police had said.
A senior police officer had said the case has been registered under sections 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 354 A (sexual harassment and punishment for harassment) of the Indian Penal Code on the complaint of the journalist alleging that she is being targeted by an unidentified group of people on “Bulli Bai” app.
The police said no arrests have been made in the case so far and a probe is underway.
Earlier in July, a case was registered by the Cyber Cell of the Delhi Police after it received a similar complaint about an unidentified group uploading photos of Muslim women on ‘Sulli Deals’ mobile application.
Police officials said an investigation is on in that matter too, but refused to elaborate.
DCW summons Delhi Police in connection with probe into ‘Bulli Bai’, ‘Sulli Deal’ cases
New Delhi: The Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) on Monday asked police officials to appear before it later this week in connection with a probe into objectionable content on ‘Bulli Bai’ and ‘Sulli Deal’ apps.
The DCW, in a statement, said it has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports regarding pictures of many Muslim women being been uploaded on ‘GitHub’ platform without their consent.
It has asked the Delhi Police to appear before it and provide a list of people arrested in both the ‘Sulli deal’ and ‘Bulli Bai’ cases.
The commission said non-arrest of culprits in such a serious matter is appalling and that this “callous attitude of the law enforcement agency has emboldened the culprits and others who are continuing to sell women and girls online”.
“It was reported that doctored photos of hundreds of Muslim women and girls were uploaded by an unidentified group of persons on an app using internet platform ‘GitHub’ and were shared with the term, ‘Bulli deal of the day’,” it said.
The commission said in 2021, pictures of many Muslim women and girls were uploaded on the same ‘GitHub’ platform under the name “Sulli Deals”.
“In that matter, while the Delhi Police had registered an FIR in July last year after DCW’s intervention, it is yet to make any arrests,” it said.
The DCW has sought details of action taken against the ‘GitHub’ app by the Delhi Police along with steps taken in preventing such platforms from uploading “derogatory” and “illegal” content in the future.
“The Delhi Police has also been asked to inform whether any guidelines with respect to such incidents have been formed by them?” the commission said.
The police have been directed to appear before the commission on January 6 with the complete case files of both the matters.
DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal said, “I am of the view that these incidents are happening due to the callous behaviour of the Delhi Police in matters related to Cyber Crime. Why have no arrests been made till date in the Sulli Deals matter? Delhi Police must make arrests in both ‘Sulli Deal’ and ‘Bulli Bai’ matters urgently and get their act together in other cases related to cyber crime! Have issued summons to them. Shall ensure accountability!”