An Indian student has been arrested over an app faking an auction of 100 prominent Muslim women.
Police in India arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with an app that shared photos of more than 100 Muslim women saying they were on “sale”.
The guy whose identity is yet to be revealed is an engineering student from the southern city of Bangalore.
The charges against him are unclear but he is a “close follower” of the app, Bulli Bai, police said.
The app was hosted on the web platform GitHub, which has since taken it down amid widespread anger and outrage.
Without their permission, photographs of numerous renowned Muslim journalists and activists were utilized on the app and placed up for “sale” in a phony auction.
This is the second time that Muslim women have been “auctioned” online in an attempt to harass them.
In July of last year, the app and website “Sulli Bargain” constructed profiles of over 80 Muslim women based on images they posted to the internet and branded them as “deals of the day.”
In all cases, there was no actual sale, but the goal was to degrade and humiliate Muslim women, many of whom have spoken out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s increasing tide of Hindu nationalism.
Sulli is a disparaging Hindi slang name for Muslim women used by right-wing Hindu trolls, while bulli is equally insulting.
Despite the fact that the Sulli deals case has being investigated by the authorities, no one has been charged.
When the news of the Bulli Bai app broke, poet Nabiya Khan, who was a target in the Sulli transactions case, tweeted that the Delhi Police had failed to act on her complaint, which she had filed in 2021.
The list of women on the Bulli Bai app included a Bollywood actor and the 65-year-old mother of a disappeared Indian student.
The fake auction shocked and angered people after several women who featured on it shared screenshots and messages on social media.
According to a 2018 Amnesty International research on online harassment in India, the more vocal a woman was, the more likely she was to be targeted; this was especially true for women from religious minorities and lower castes.
Critics claim that in India’s polarized political climate, trolling targeting Muslim women has gotten worse in recent years.