A special cell of Delhi Police has arrested the main creator of the Bulli Bai app from Assam. The app showed photos of Muslim women, claiming they were up for “auction” on an open-source platform Github.
The suspect has been identified as Niraj Bishnoi from Jorhat, Assam. A team of Delhi Police led by DCP (Special Cell) KPS Malhotra arrested him, a source said. Multiple units from police of at least three states were in pursuit of the suspect.
The Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Ops (IFSO) unit of the special cell of Delhi Police had been investigating the case since 1 January after an FIR was registered in connection with the matter on the complaint of a woman journalist.
Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana had officially transferred the case to the IFSO unit on 4 January morning after it made a breakthrough in tracking the digital breadcrumbs that trailed the creator. A six-member team was formed under DCP Malhotra to lead the operation that led to the arrest of the creator. Delhi Police briefed the press on the operation this evening.
Meanwhile, in the Sulli Deals case, which involved a similar crime, a chief metropolitan magistrate issued a communication through MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty) after giving necessary approvals. The police are probing whether the man arrested in the Bulli Bai case was also behind the Sulli Deals app case.
“The Bulli Bai case has been transferred to us. The MLAT procedure in the Sulli Deals case is completed in India and will soon be delivered to the Department of Justice. Details will be sought through MLAT accordingly and will be shared through Interpol,” KPS Malhotra, DCP (IFSO) said yesterday.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had already approved the investigation and the communication was going to be sent to the San Francisco-based firm by next week.
Sources said that Delhi Police had twice written to Github, seeking details in the Sulli Deals case but the platform had refused to share the details, asking the police to come through a legal route.
The police had filed an FIR in the Sulli Deals matter on 7 July 2021 and sent a request for details of the user the same day. The second request, as a reminder, was sent next week. Later, Delhi Police started the MLAT procedure and the file was sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs via the Home Department of the Delhi government.