Bulli Bai App Case: Mumbai court remands arrested engineering student to police custody till Jan 10text_fields
Mumbai: The Court of Metropolitan Magistrate in Mumbai's Bandra has remanded Vishal Kumar Jha who was arrested in the Bulli Bai App case, in Mumbai cyber police's custody while a Uttarkhand court granted city police four-day transit remand of Shweta Singh, who is alleged to be the main culprit in the case.
The cyber cell of Mumbai police which is probing the `Bulli Bai' app case arrested Shweta Singh, a 19-year-old woman from Uttarakhand on Tuesday, and Vishal Jha, a 21-year-old engineering student from Bengaluru on Monday.
Vishal Kumar Jha and co-accused Shweta Singh who is from Uttarakhand allegedly knew each other. According to police, more arrests are likely. The police also added that Shweta Singh was operating multiple accounts related to the 'Bulli Bai app'.
While the court in Mumbai remanded Jha in police custody till January 10, his co-accused Shweta Singh will be brought to Mumbai and will be produced before the Mumbai court on Wednesday reports PTI quoting a senior police official.
The Mumbai police had registered a First Information Report (FIR) against unidentified persons following complaints that doctored photographs of hundreds of Muslim women were uploaded for the 'auction' on an app called `Bulli Bai', hosted on the open-source software platform GitHub.
While there was no actual `auction' or `sale', the purpose of the app seemed to be to humiliate and intimidate the targeted women, many of whom are active social media users.
Vishal Jha, the Engineering student Jha who was detained in Bengaluru in connection with the case on Monday was operating a Twitter handle by the name `Khalsa Supremacist', and had changed the names of some other fake handles to resemble Sikh names. Police will also probe whether there was any attempt to create religious tension in Punjab where elections are due this year.
Some other Twitter handles which promoted the app also had photographs or caricatures of Turbaned persons in their profile pictures and the posts in question contained text in the Punjabi script, in an apparent attempt to mislead about the identity, an official had said earlier.
Mumbai police produced Vishal Kumar Jha before the Bandra metropolitan magistrate's court on Tuesday and sought his custody for ten days. The court remanded him in police's custody till January 10. It also granted the police permission to carry out searches at his house in Bengaluru.
While seeking his custody, the police told the court that after the suspect detained in Uttarakhand (Shweta Singh, later arrested) was brought and her custody was obtained, the two accused would be questioned together.
"My client Vishal Jha has been falsely implicated in the case. He had no role in the creation of this app or any fake accounts. He is just a student," his lawyer Dinesh Prajapati told PTI. Prajapati also denied that Jha knew Shweta.
The Bulli Bai app (now blocked by GitHub) is the second case of this kind of sexual harassment and cyber-bullying targeting women from the minority community. A similar app and website called `Sulli Deals' had come to light last year.
Amid the outrage, the Delhi Police has sought details from the GitHub platform about the developers of the 'Bulli Bai' mobile application and also asked Twitter to block and remove related "offensive contents". The police also sought from Twitter information about the account handler who first tweeted about the app.
Leaders from across the political spectrum condemned this cyber-harassment and called for strict action against the culprits.
Terming the matter as "serious", the Delhi Minorities Commission has issued a notice to Delhi police chief Rakesh Asthana seeking an action-taken report by January 10.