Mastermind of 'Sulli Deals' App Listing Muslim Women for Auction Arrested in India

CC BY 2.0 / Bill Oxford / Handcuffs
Handcuffs - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.01.2022
On 4 July 2021, photos of over 90 Indian Muslim women, including prominent journalists, activists, analysts, artists, and researchers, were stolen from their social media accounts and uploaded on the "Sulli Deals" app. Six months later, a similar incident took place on a "Bulli Bai" app, sparking a social media uproar.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police on Sunday arrested the creator and mastermind of the ‘Sulli Deals’ mobile app, Aumkareshwar Thakur, 25, in Indore, a city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, for allegedly targeting Muslim women and auctioning them online as the "deal of the day".
After six months, the ‘Sulli Deals’ scandal once again made headlines last week, after a similar app, 'Bulli Bai', targeted hundreds of Muslim women. The affected women took to social media, demanding strict action against those responsible.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) KPS Malhotra of Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO), said that Aumkareshwar Thakur was arrested after he admitted during preliminary interrogation that he was a member of a group on Twitter where the idea to defame Muslim women was shared.
The officer told Indian media that Thakur is the main creator of the app who developed the code on the GitHub hosting platform and gave all members of the group access to the code. He also made posts about the app on his Twitter account.
Thakur entered the cross hairs of the Delhi police after they arrested ‘Bulli Bai’ app creator Niraj Bishnoi, 21, on 6 January in the state of Assam.
Bishnoi, who confessed to being a hacker since the age of 15 and has hacked various websites of schools and universities in India as well as Pakistan, revealed that he was in touch with the creator of 'Sulli Deals'.
Police told Indian media that Bishnoi is highly radicalised. He accepted responsibility for his crime and has "no remorse".
The Mumbai Cyber Police, who are also investigating the Bulli Bai case, earlier arrested an engineering student named Vishal Kumar Jha, 21, in Bengaluru, Karnataka state; as well as a 19-year-old girl, Shweta Singh, and a science student named Mayank Rawal, 21, in the state of Uttarakhand.
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