Delhi Police Say Alleged 'Bulli Bai' Creator's Intention Was to 'Get Publicity'

Through the interrogation of Neeraj Bishnoi, a 21-year-old engineering student, the police claim to have leads tying him to last year's 'Sulli Deals' app as well.

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New Delhi: The investigation into the ‘Bulli Bai’ app has, so far, has suggested that the intention of the alleged creator of the app was to get publicity and “make an identity of his own”, the Delhi police said on Friday.

The probe has so far not revealed anyone else’s involvement in motivating Neeraj Bishnoi (21) to undertake such activities and his action can be attributed to the type of social media content he consumed, the police said.

The Bulli Bai app was developed in November last year and uploaded to GitHub in December. Similar to the ‘Sulli Deals’ app from last year, it stages ‘auctions’ for Muslim women with the primary design of denigrating them, posting manipulated pictures of them without their consent.

Bishnoi was arrested from Assam’s Jorhat on January 6 for being the alleged creator of ‘Bulli Bai’ on GitHub and the main Twitter account holder for the app. He was subsequently suspended from the Vellore Institute of Technology, Bhopal where he was pursuing a BTech degree.

The police also alleged his potential involvement in the ‘Sulli Deals’ case, which sparked a row in July last year. The police noted that they are still investigating any potential links.

“There is a possibility that his network is linked to Sulli Deals. The devices used by him are being scanned. Through him, we might also reach the culprits of ‘Sulli Deals’,” they said.

The police have also alleged that Bishnoi had earlier tried to mislead a cyber cell investigation into ‘Sulli Deals’ by posing as a mediaperson. In the case, registered on the basis of a complaint made by a journalist in Southwest Delhi, Bishnoi had allegedly called the police through WhatsApp to mislead them as well as gain information about the progress in the probe, the police claimed, noting that they found this information through Bishnoi’s phone records.

Also read: ‘Bulli Bai’, India’s Hatred Machine and Those it Leaves in Its Wake

Bishnoi also created a Twitter account to make lewd remarks on the picture of a complainant and even tweeted about the ‘auction’ of the person, police said on Friday.

During the ‘Sulli Deals’ probe, Bishnoi even used one of these Twitter handles to try and plant information about the possible originator of the app, the police further alleged.

While interrogating the 21-year-old, police said they found several Twitter handles he had been using to make lewd and lascivious comments, all of which featured the name ‘Giyu’ in them, a supposed reference to an anime character.

One of the handles was found to be associated with an FIR filed in Southwest Delhi’s Kishangarh police station and was used to make lewd comments on a picture of the complainant and tweet about their ‘auction’, deputy commissioner of police (DCP-cyber) K.P.S. Malhotra told news agency PTI.

Bishnoi also allegedly create a fake profile posing as a woman and tried to communicate with the investigating agency as a news reporter. Further, he came in contact with various news reporters and tried to plant misinformation with “nefarious goals”, the DCP said.

Bishnoi was the fourth person to be arrested for their alleged involvement in the case. The other three, nabbed by the Mumbai police’s cyber division, include Vishal Kumar Jha (21), an engineering student from Bengaluru; Shweta Singh (18) from Uttarakhand who the Mumbai cops said is the ‘main culprit’; and Mayank Rawal (21), a Chemistry (Hons) student at Zakir Hussain College in Delhi, also a resident of Uttarakhand.

(With PTI inputs)