LONDON: Police in India arrested a 25-year-old man on Sunday suspected of creating an app that published photos of more than 80 Muslim women for “sale” online.
The app, Sulli Deals, was created last July and had taken publicly available pictures of women and created profiles, describing the women as “deals of the day.”
The man, Aumkareshwar Thakur, was arrested after a similar app, Bulli Bai, uploaded photos of more than 100 Muslim women online. Four 21-year-old students were arrested in connection to the Bulli Bai app.
“Om Thakur has been arrested from Indore. He is the main mastermind behind the Sulli deal app case,” said K.P.S. Malhotra, deputy commissioner of police, Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations Unit, Delhi Police Special Cell.
There was no actual sale on the apps, but the purpose was reportedly to degrade and humiliate Muslim women, some of whom were journalists, activists, artists, and researchers and particularly outspoken about the rising tide of Hindu nationalism.
“Sulli” is a derogatory Hindi slang term that right-wing Hindu trolls use for Muslim women, while “bulli” is also pejorative.
Both apps generated heavy outrage online, with women repeatedly complaining to the police that their photos had been uploaded without their permission.
The photos included one of a Bollywood actor and the 65-year-old mother of a disappeared Indian student.