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Indian MPs Seek Action From Modi Gov't Against Apps Like 'Sulli Deals' 'Auctioning' Muslim Women

© AP Photo / B.K. BangashMuslim women. (File)
Muslim women. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.07.2021
Sulli Deals is a satirical app that pretends to offer users the chance to buy a "Sulli" - a form of derogatory slang used by some Hindus against Muslim women. The application was first noticed in July by women who found their profiles - taken without their consent - promoted on social media describing them as "deals of the day".
Nearly a month after an application "Sulli Deals" posted satirical online auctions of Muslim women, a member of parliament from the Shiv Sena Party, Priyanka Chaturvedi, has demanded action from the government "to protect the dignity of women of our society, as any responsible government should."
The app was reportedly meant as satire, and did not engage in actual sales of people. Several Muslim women have reported the app to police, noting that the sole purpose of such mobile apps and websites is to degrade and humiliate those of the Islamic faith.
Islamic women reported that profiles and pictures from their user accounts on social media had been taken without their knowledge or consent, and abused by the application Sulli Deals. Police have reportedly launched an investigation but are yet to reveal who is behind the app.
A member from Rajya Sabha (the upper house of the parliament) wrote to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Friday expressing her anger over government inaction on the case. "It pains me to see that hardly any movement with regards to this case has been taken as of now despite the seriousness of it," she wrote.
Parliament member Chaturvedi stressed in her letter that the "horrifying incident has left the women scarred and troubled. Some of the women have since then deleted their social media accounts and many others said they were still afraid of further harassment."
Nationwide anger over the satirical fake auction app stealing user IDs compelled Delhi police to register an official police complaint on 8 July after the Delhi Commission for Women and the National Commission for Women called for an investigation. The application has been suspended and the hosting company asked to cooperate in the police probe. 
"The lack of stringent and efficient preventive laws and punishments for such cases only motivates the perpetrators," noted Chaturvedi in her letter to the government. 
On 27 July, a parliament member from the Bihar state belonging to the Indian National Congress, Dr Mohammad Jawaid, handed a memorandum to Federal Home Minister Amit Shah, demanding quick action in the matter.
The memorandum is signed by 56 members of parliament who are demanding "an inquiry against the criminals involved behind Sulli Deals App and Liberal Dodge auction."
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