Last week, Muslim women targeted by an app called Bulli Bai took to social media to raise their voices against what had happened. They said that photographs of hundreds of Muslim women had been uploaded on the app on the open-source platform GitHub. The group behind the app collected photos of Muslim women from their social media accounts and encouraged people to participate in their “auction”, the women said.
FIRs have been filed in the matter in Delhi and Mumbai while Hyderabad Police and the National Commission for Women have taken cognisance of the issue. However, no arrests have been made yet.
The targeted women, some of whom have been vocal about the issue on social media, are now urging authorities to take strict action against the perpetrators of the alleged online harassment.
Former journalist Hiba Beg wrote on Twitter, “We don’t want an FIR, we want arrests. Enough of bread-crumbing – show us actual action. We cannot let this happen a third time!”
In July 2021, the ‘Sulli Deals’ case had emerged in which an app like Bulli Bai was used to upload photographs of Muslim women and ‘auction’ them.
In a similar vein, a woman named Sidrah tweeted in response to NCW’s action in the matter, “Hello. Good morning. Do you do anything other than taking cognisance after outrage?”
Meanwhile, journalist Ismat Ara demanded accountability from GitHub. She tweeted, “We have been sold and auctioned online on your platform. We demand answers, and deserve accountability from GitHub.”
Artist Sayema suggested that the Bulli Bai incident is a “reflection of India’s broken justice system” and a “dilapidated law and order arrangement”. She wrote, “There are many Muslim names, including mine, in the obnoxious Bulli Deals It’s a reflection on India’s broken justice system, a dilapidated law and order arrangement. Are we becoming the most unsafe country for women?”