NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian police mentioned on Thursday that they had arrested a 20-year-old man they believe created a web-based app that shared footage of Muslim women for a digital “public sale”, as an investigation into the case of communal harassment widened.
An open supply app on the Github platform referred to as ‘Bulli Bai’ – a derogatory time period to explain Muslim women – had shared footage of dozens of women with out their consent earlier than it was taken down.
Okay.P.S Malhotra, a police official within the capital New Delhi, mentioned his crew had arrested a 20-year-old engineering pupil from Jorhat within the japanese state of Assam after a probe that concerned the state-run Computer Emergency Response Team.
“He is the one that had created the Bullibai app on Github. He had additionally created the Twitter deal with @bullibai_ and different handles,” Malhotra mentioned.
Police within the western metropolis of Mumbai, who’re additionally investigating the app, have individually arrested three individuals this week, together with two 21-year-old engineering college students and an 18-year-old lady.
Mumbai police mentioned they had been investigating whether or not the app, which didn’t contain any precise auctioning of individuals, was half of a “bigger conspiracy”.
Several Indian Muslim journalists had been focused by the app, together with Ismat Ara who filed after which shared on social media a police criticism on Sunday that mentioned the app was “designed to insult Muslim women”.
“After right this moment’s arrest by @DelhiPolice, I hope the culprits behind this elaborate harassment of Muslim women, together with journalists like myself, will in the end be caught & punished,” Ara mentioned in a tweet on Thursday.
Muslims account for round 14% of India’s 1.3 billion inhabitants. Some sections of the group have been at odds with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration and Hindu right-wing supporters, together with over a controversial 2019 citizenship legislation that triggered large-scale protests.
The youngest of these arrested to date is from the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. The 18-year-old started spending time on social media and made contact with Hindu right-wing customers after ending her school-leaving exams final yr,an area police official who spoke to her earlier this week instructed Reuters.
The official, who declined to be named, mentioned she had instructed him that her actions had been primarily based on Hindu right-wing ideology, which she had picked up on social media platforms, together with Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.
“She got here to social media to distract herself however she saved getting entangled in it,” the official mentioned.
(Reporting by Devjyot Ghoshal and Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Elaine Hardcastle)