Sulli Deals case: Images of many Muslim women were allegedly uploaded on a digital platform called GitHub without their consent. The women were reportedly auctioned on the website. The Delhi Police Cyber Cell has initiated a probe in the case which involves an unidentified group that runs a website called Sulli Deals.
The pictures uploaded showcased girls as “deal of the day” for users, all the while using abusive, demeaning and derogatory remarks against them, as confirmed by a senior police official.
“FIR registered in view of a complaint received on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal against Sulli Deals Mobile Application. Notices have been sent to GitHub to share relevant details,” police told ANI.
National Commission for Women (NCW) takes suo motu cognizance of a media report "about now a defunct website 'Sulli Deals', which had posted pictures of Muslim women and had put it up for auction". pic.twitter.com/eLYN4NiH4K
— ANI (@ANI) July 8, 2021
The girls were reportedly unaware of this action, thereby marking the incident as non-consensual. The news comes a day after the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Tuesday took suo motu cognisance of media reports of the matter.
In the official notice issued by DCW chief Swati Maliwal, it stated: “As per media reports, the app came to light when people started sharing their pictures with the term “Sulli deal of the day” on Twitter”.
The incident led to many women quitting social media platforms after they learnt of the images being circulated. “This is a very serious matter and amounts to cybercrime,” the notice further read.
The notice, addressed to DCP (CyPAD) Anyesh Roy, requested that the police submit a copy of the FIR filed in the case, information of the accused identified and arrested, actions are taken to identify and arrest the accused, and a thorough action report in the case.
A senior police officer confirmed receiving the notice, he said that the letter had been received by the Cyber Cell and that an investigation had been initiated as a result.
A similar letter was sent by National Commission(NCW) for Women to the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police. The NCW took suo moto cognisance of the media reports regarding the Sulli deals case and asked the police officials to investigate the matter and file FIR under relevant sections. The commission is expecting the report by police within 10 days.
One of the women whose photos were auctioned on the website, Hana Mohsin Khan, has filed an FIR with the Commissionerate of GB Nagar, alleging that on July 4, she learned from Twitter that her images had been put to the website without her knowledge and that they were being “auctioned off” to consumers. She said the screenshot of the webpage was then posted on Twitter, where she was threatened and harassed by users.
Social Media Reacts on Sulli Deals Case:
The Editors Guild of India issued a statement demanding police action and strongly denounced the offenders’ behaviour.
Fatima Khan, a journalist who covered the riots in North East Delhi in 2020, was one of the individuals targeted and identified on the app. “How is this acceptable?” tweeted Khan, a senior correspondent for The Print. What, if any, punishment will be meted out to those who compiled this list? Muslim males are lynched, while Muslim women are sexually harassed and sold on the internet. When is this going to be over?”
Didn't check Twitter last night. Woke up this morning to realise my name, along with those of many other Muslim women was up on GitHub as a list of "Sulli Deals". Thankfully by the time I came across it, it had been taken down. But just the screenshots sent shivers down my spine. pic.twitter.com/CGXivEyjyC
— Fatima Khan (@khanthefatima) July 5, 2021
After a widespread outcry on social media, the website was taken down by Github.