After photos of at least 100 influential Muslim women were uploaded to an app for auction, it sparked widespread outrage, IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that GitHub, the hosting platform, has confirmed the user has been banned and that CERT and law enforcement agencies coordinate further measures.
Uploading pictures via the “Bulli Bai” app was similar to the “Sulli Deals” upload in July last year. The “Bulli Bai” app worked just like Sulli Deals. After opening, the face of a Muslim woman happened to be shown as Bulli Bai. Muslim women with a strong Twitter presence, including journalists, were selected and their photos uploaded.
Two FIRs were filed by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police in connection with the Sulli Deals last year after photos of Muslim women were abused, but no concrete action has been taken against the perpetrators.
Like ‘Bulli Bai’, the ‘Sulli Deals’ were also hosted on GitHub.
Shiv Sena’s MP Priyanka Chaturvedi reported the Bulli Bai app to Mumbai police and Vaishnaw on Saturday for action, including arresting the perpetrators.
In a tweet late Saturday night, Vaishnaw said, “GitHub confirmed that the user himself was blocked this morning. CERT and police authorities coordinate the further measures ”.
Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) is the hub agency dealing with cyber security threats.
He did not provide any information about the measures taken.
Vaishnaw tweeted on Sunday, “Govt. India is working with police organizations in Delhi and Mumbai on this matter ”.
The Union government had cited abusive content against women as one of the reasons for drafting the new digital rules that allow intermediaries to identify the user hosting the offensive content within 24 hours.
It is not clear whether the same rules were used in ‘Sulli Deals’ and, in the case of ‘Bulli Bai’, are invoked to ask the hosting platform to identify the user in order to take action.
Chaturvedi also tagged the IT minister on Saturday and urged him to crack down on such “wild misogyny and collective attacks on women”.
Those who flagged the “Sulli Deal” wanted the Mumbai police, not the Delhi police, to be aware of the crime and take action. Some said they had little confidence in the Delhi police who are taking action against the perpetrators.
The Delhi Police Department is under the Union Ministry of Interior.
“Talked to @CPMumbaiPolice and DCP Crime Rashmi Karandikar ji. They will investigate this. Also spoke to @DGPMaharashtra to intervene. In the hope that those who are behind such misogynistic and sexist sites will be arrested, ”Chaturvedi tweeted.
“I’ve asked Hon repeatedly. IT minister @AshwiniVaishnaw ji to take decisive action against such rampant misogyny and community attacks on women through #sullideals like platforms. It’s a shame that it continues to be ignored, “Chaturvedi tweeted on Saturday.
In response to the development, Mumbai Police said they had taken note of the matter and asked the officials concerned to take action.
Mumbai cyber police have opened an investigation into the offensive content, an official said.