In a land where men can allegedly say and do whatever they want to do, two men were granted bail after creating apps, posting and ‘auctioning’ off photographs of Muslim women. This land is known as Delhi, India.
A Delhi court has granted bail to the accused creator of the ‘Suli Deals’ app Aumkareshwar Thakur and the alleged maker of the ‘Bulli Bai’ app Niraj Bishnoi on humanitarian grounds. Earlier this month, the court noted that the investigation was complete as the charge sheet had gotten filed earlier this month.
When criticized for their decision, the Delhi Court came out with a statement claiming, “Prolonged incarceration for a young person like him would be detrimental to his overall well-being…The accused is a first-time offender and has roots in the community, hence is not a flight risk.”
While the defense called the entire case fake, the prosecution suggested the possibility of witness tampering if allowed on bail. The court allowed bail for Thakur and Bishnoi on a surety bond of Rs 50,000 and on the condition that they won’t contact any victims of theirs.
The judgment is not sitting well with some people expressing their disappointment on social media. While some are calling it unfair to the Muslim women of India who were publicly auctioned and humiliated, others said that the court is biased toward the preparators. Seeing that the Indian government favors agreeable religious men in society, especially tech-savvy young ones, the court giving the men freedom further entraps their victims.
Police initially arrested the suspects in early January. The first to get arrested was a 20-year-old engineering student from Jorhat in the eastern state of Assam after a probe that involved the state-run Computer Emergency Response Team. “He is the person who had created the Bullibai app on Github. He had also created the Twitter handle @bullibai_ and other handles,” a police officer on the case said. Upon the initial arrest, police in the western city of Mumbai, who was also investigating the app, separately arrested three people the same week, including two 21-year-old engineering students and an 18-year-old woman.
The app’s name, ‘Bulli Bai,’ acts as an app name and a derogatory term to describe Muslim women. In most cases, the victims of the ‘auctions’ were women who were established, Muslim journalists.
Police believed there was a possible threat of a ‘larger conspiracy’ due to something similar happening in July of last year, an app and website called “Sulli Deals” created profiles of more than 80 Muslim women – using photos they uploaded online – and described them as “deals of the day.” Three days following the arrest of the engineering student, police got the name of the creator of ‘Sulli Deals.’
One can hope that justice gets served in the courtroom when the two get their days. This case will exemplify how well the Indian government protects their women and respects them.