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Bulli Bai App: Main accused women detained from Uttarakhand

The prime accused in the case of the ‘Bulli Bai’ application that targeted Muslim women in a fake online auction was detained from Uttarakhand, Mumbai Police said on Tuesday.

The accused is a woman and knew the 21-year-old engineering student who was arrested during the day in Mumbai following 10 hours of grilling.

The arrested man, detained a day ago from Bengaluru, was identified as Vishal Kumar. The arrest came after 10 hours of questioning by Mumbai Police Cyber Cell DCP Rashmi Karandikar. Kumar was later sent to police custody till January 10.

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Police said the main accused was handling three accounts related to the ‘Bulli Bai’ app. “Kumar opened an account by the name Khalsa supremacist. On December 31, he changed the names of other accounts to resemble Sikh names. Fake Khalsa account holders were shown,” the Mumbai Police said in a statement as quoted by news agency ANI.

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A major uproar has erupted over the leaking of photographs of more than 100 prominent Muslim women, including journalists, activists, film stars and artists, on the application last weekend without their permission.

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The website had listed the women for “auction” in what appeared to be a clone of the banned app ‘Sulli Deals’ which had triggered a similar row last year.

The women listed on the website also included a 65-year-old mother of a disappeared Indian student as well as Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.

A case had been registered against unknown culprits under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act.

The website, hosted on San Francisco-based coding platform GitHub, came to light after outrage by several victims and other supporters on Twitter.

A company spokesperson of GitHub said it had taken down the user account which had hosted the website on its platform, and that it would cooperate with investigating authorities.

The Delhi Police on Monday asked Twitter to block and remove related “offensive contents” on its platform.

Investigations were launched in at least three states and police filed criminal complaints against developers of the website, based on the complaints of the targeted women.

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