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Delhi Police Writes to Clubhouse, Google Over Targeting of Muslim Women in Group Chat

Police officials said that as per preliminary investigation, it has emerged that all the suspects were using fake names and operated from fake accounts, and efforts are underway to trace their exact locations and nab them.

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New Delhi: The Delhi police on Wednesday wrote to the Clubhouse app and the search engine Google seeking details about the organiser of the alleged audio group chat in which “obscene comments were made against Muslim women”, official sources said.

“The police have also identified some members of the group audio chat, which included men and women from both communities, as part of the investigation,” they said.

“Google has been asked to provide information about the Clubhouse application as well as the reason behind hosting it on their play store,” they said.

“We have identified five to six suspects as of now who were part of the alleged chat room. Many among them are also based outside Delhi and other states. Suspects include both men and women and all of them are adults,” one of the sources said.

Police officials said that as per preliminary investigation, it has emerged that all the suspects were using fake names and operated from fake accounts, and efforts are underway to trace their exact locations and nab them.

Also read: Media Bodies Condemn ‘Bulli Bai’ App, Criticise Police Inaction in Previous ‘Auction’

They said that suspects belong to both the communities and alleged that some among them had also modulated their voice and edited it in order to erase any digital footprint.

The development comes a day after the Delhi police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit, which works under the supervision of Special Cell, filed an FIR against the unknown persons in the matter.

The FIR was registered Tuesday just hours after the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice to the Delhi police demanding action against some people who made “obscene comments against Muslim women” on the app.

“A case has already been registered in the matter under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. We have also written to Google and to Clubhouse app seeking details about the organiser of the alleged audio chap group in which some obscene comments were made against Muslim women,” the official source said on Wednesday.

The sections include 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 354 A (sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), according to police.

In its notice to the Cyber Crime Cell, the DCW had said it had taken sou-moto cognisance of a video posted on Twitter which showed a Clubhouse conversation where Muslim women and girls were being referred to in a disparaging way.

This comes days after hundreds of Muslim women were listed for auction on the Bulli Bai mobile application with photographs sourced without permission, and doctored. The app appeared to be a clone of Sulli Deals which triggered a similar row last year.

(PTI)