Who Is Behind The 'Bulli Bai' App? Here's What We Know So Far

In the Bulli Bai auction app case, police have held a 21-year-old engineering student from Bengaluru with the involvement of other individuals being probed too.

Tanvi Akhauri
New Update
Toxic Positivity On Instagram, personal data, Social Media, Social Media Impact
Mumbai police arrested a man from Bengaluru in connection to the Bulli Bai auction app that aimed at targeted harassment of India's Muslim women. First Information Reports (FIRs) in the case had been filed with the cyber cells of both Mumbai and Delhi police after the cyberbullying came to light on January 1.

The names and photos of multiple women - many of them prominent social media personalities, journalists and activists - were listed on this GitHub-hosted app that put them up for 'auction.' More on that here.

On Monday, two days after multiple women flagged the harassment on social media, the Mumbai police probing the matter reportedly detained a 21-year-old engineering student from Bengaluru identified as Vishal Jha. He was arrested a day later. Further details on the man's identity were withheld in order to prevent the investigation from being jeopardised, officials said.

Two others - 18-year-old Shweta Singh and 21-year-old Mayank Rawat, both from Uttarakhand - were subsequently arrested. On Thursday, reports claimed the Delhi police arrested one Neeraj Bishnoi, a 21-year-old student, from Assam, naming him as the alleged creator of the controversial app.

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As quoted by The News MinuteMaharashtra minister Satej Patel said there are more people involved with the controversial 'auction' app case. The 21-year-old student, who is yet to be formally arrested, was just one of the people behind 'Bulli Bai' and "others detained are from other parts of India," as per Patel.

Patel added that these people behind the app were allegedly "used by someone else" to target Muslim women and officials are probing links to political or other parties.

The case against unknown individuals has been filed under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Information Technology (IT) Act, including those related to ">stalking, criminal defamation, outraging the modesty of a woman and promoting enmity on religious grounds.

Suggested Reading: Muslim Women Attacked Once Again, When Will This Stop ?


This is at least the fourth such instance of 'auction' of women from India's religious minority community within a year. Between May and July in 2020, two such 'auctions' were conducted, once on a YouTube livestream by an account named Liberal Doge and then on another GitHub app similar to 'Bulli Bai' called 'Sulli Deals.' Later that year, similar harassment was hosted by a Clubhouse room.

('Sulli' is an offensive term used for Muslim women on social media, particularly Twitter, as a variation of another offensive to evade action under the platform's safety guidelines.)

An FIR was filed against unknown individuals in the 'Sulli Deals' case but survivors tell SheThePeople that six months on, there is no update on action or arrests in the matter. Read here.

Bulli Bai App women auctioned online Muslim Women cyber harassment