Sullideals: A man was arrested for using an app to sell Muslim women at auction

Image source, Special arrangements

Aumkareshwar Thikur was taken into custody in Madhya Pradesh.

India police arrested an Indian man who was accused of making an app to post photos of Muslim women on the internet.

Sulli Deals, an open-source app that was created in July 2021 on GitHub.

Days after Bulli Bai, a similar app that uploaded images of 100 Muslim women to an identical app, Bulli Bai was also arrested.

A total of four students were detained, one 21-year-old student was also involved in the creation of the second app.

  • App to be sold off by fourth man

Both cases involved no sale but were intended to humiliate and degrade Muslim women. Many of these women have spoken out about the rise of Hindu nationalism in India under Prime Minister NarendraModi.

Hindi slang terms for Muslim women include “Sulli”, a term used by right-wing Hindu trollings to denigrate “bulli” and “Sulli”.

Bulli Bai’s app caused outrage on the internet. One of those women had filed a complaint with the police in July. She claimed that no action had been taken by Delhi police.

Aumkareshwar Thakur was detained by police in Indore, central Madhya Pradesh.

BBC Marathi reported that police discovered Mr Thakur’s identity while Neeraj Bhishnoi was being questioned about the Bulli Bai app.

KPS Malhotra (deputy commissioner for the Delhi Police’s Cyber Crime Team) told BBC that Mr Thakur’s devices were being analysed.

App “Sulli Deals”, which took photos of females and made profiles of them, described the women as “deals for the day”

  • ‘I was put on sale online because I’m Muslim’

All of the people featured in this app were vocal Muslims. This included journalists, activists and artists.

A commercial pilot told BBC that one of her female colleagues felt chills when she first heard about the app.

Bulli Bai received the same reactions as other women, including several Bollywood actors and the 65 year-old mother to a missing Indian student.

Amnesty International’s 2018 report in India on harassment online showed that women who are vocal were more at risk of being targeted. This was especially true for those from religious minority and poorer castes.

Critics believe that the trolling against Muslim women is worsening in India’s current polarized political climate.

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