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Bulli Bai App: A 21-year-old man detained from Bengaluru

A 21-year-old man was detained from Bengaluru in connection with the ‘Bulli Bai’ application that targeted Muslim women, the Mumbai Police said on Monday.

An ANI input said police did not reveal the identity of the suspect, a second-year student of civil engineering in Bengaluru. A case has been registered against unknown culprits under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act.

Maharashtra minister of state for home (urban) Satej Patil said not too many details can be divulged at the moment as it may hamper the ongoing investigation. “I would like to assure all the victims that we are proactively chasing the culprits and they will face the law very soon,” he added.

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Police sources said he was running one of the offending Twitter handles and uploading the content.

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Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police sought details from the GitHub platform about the developer of the dodgy application and asked Twitter to block and remove related “offensive contents” on its platform.

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Police also sought from Twitter information about the account handler who first tweeted about the app.

On Sunday, IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the government is working with police in Delhi and Mumbai, where cases have been registered in the matter.

He also said that GitHub has blocked the user who had uploaded the app and that the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), the country’s nodal agency on cyber security, and police are coordinating further action in the matter.

Also read | What is ‘Bulli Bai’, the controversial app targeting Muslim women on social media?

Leaders cutting across party lines have condemned the cyber harassment of women belonging to the minority community and called for strict action against the guilty. Many have blamed it on right-wing elements.

Hundreds of Muslim women were listed for “auction” on the app with photographs sourced without permission and doctored. It has happened for the second time in less than a year. The app appeared to be a clone of ‘Sulli Deals’ which triggered a similar row last year.

Terming the matter “serious”, Delhi Minorities Commission issued a notice to city police chief Rakesh Asthana seeking an action-taken report on January 10. It said the interests of Muslim women need to be safeguarded by nabbing the culprits.

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has also asked police officers to appear before it later this week.

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