A court in Mumbai sent Bulli Bai accused Shweta Singh and Mayank Rawat to two-week judicial custody on Friday, as per reports. The two youths, 18 and 21 respectively, both hail from Uttarakhand and were arrested last week for their alleged involvement in the controversial app ‘Bulli Bai’ that ‘auctioned’ and harassed Muslim women from India.
Sandeep Sherkhane, the legal representative for Rawat, confirmed the extension period on the duo’s custody. Rawat himself was not present in court since he has tested positive for COVID-19, as per ANI.
Another accused in the ‘Bulli Bai’ case, Vishal Kumar Jha, is also under medical observation during his custody period after testing positive for the virus. A student of engineering, the 21-year-old was the first person to be arrested in connection to the case.
Neeraj Bishnoi, also 21 and an engineering student, was named by police as the creator of the app and is in their custody. Follow the case here.
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Dozens of Indian Muslim women, many of them known journalists, activists and public figures known for voicing dissent and opinions on relevant social issues, found themselves on an app that sought to ‘auction’ them off recently. This targeted harassment was flagged on social media January 1 and complaints were filed with police in Delhi and Mumbai.
The app, ‘Bulli Bai’, was hosted by open-source website GitHub, which also hosted the similarly controversial ‘Sulli Deals’ app last year. Both apps were removed after women forwarded the matter to the police.
While survivors complained of inaction in the previous case, arrests were made within days of the complaints in the more recent ‘Bulli Bai’ case. Following Jha’s arrest, a minister in Maharashtra said without divulging too many details that investigators believed the attack was orchestrated by people from different parts of the country.
Though cops were reportedly also probing links between the perpetrators and political or other organisations, any information on this front has not been disclosed.
As per reports, the Mumbai court that ordered the extended custody for the accused has also asked the Deputy Commissioner of Police for Mumbai’s cyber cell to look into allegations of police assault Singh has made.