Geneva: Expressing shock over the repeated incident of targeting women, including many Indian scribes in social media, the global media safety and rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) demands proper actions against the individuals behind the ‘Bulli Bai’ online application.
It may be mentioned that over a hundred women, largely Muslim personalities, were listed with doctored photographs in the app as readied for online auction (to sell as maids) in the first week of January 2022. Those included in the list belong to various professions including journalism. Lately, the app is being closed down.
This is not the first time that a group of women is put on public auction. A similar humiliating app ‘Sulli Deals’ was made public in July 2021 targeting nearly 80 minority community women. Though there was no actual auction, the initiative was enough to abuse the women, who remained otherwise vocal against various injustices.
Meanwhile, a police complaint has been lodged in the capital city of India after a number of women activists expressed their dismay over the app. After New Delhi, similar complaints were also registered in Mumbai city also under various sections of Indian laws dealing with gender bias, sexual harassment, religious enmity, etc.
“We urge the Indian federal government in New Delhi to take necessary actions against the perpetrators. Virtual attacks against the journalists are seemingly aimed to discourage them in performing their duties, which can not be accepted,” said Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC(www.pressemblem.ch)
PEC’s India representative Nava Thakuria informed that the Mumbai police have already detained three students (including a young lady, understood as the prime suspect) involved in the case and continued the investigation. Meanwhile, the information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw assured all support for justice to the affected individuals.
The Bulli Bai case is a case of an online fake auction of Muslim women in India. Photos of prominent Muslim journalists and activists were uploaded on the Bulli Bai app without their permission. And they were being “sold” in a fake auction. Like Sulli Deals, the app did not actually sell anyone, but harassed and humiliated these women. The app has been removed from the Internet platform GitHub, where it was hosted, following outrage over the app. Vishal Kumar Jha (in Bengaluru), Shweta Singh (in Uttarakhand), Mayank Rawal (in Uttarakhand) and Niraj Bishnoi (in Bhopal) are arrested in connection with the Bulli Bai app. (Source: Wikipedia)