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Monday, January 24, 2022

‘#Bullideals’: Maharashtra Home Minister says ‘disturbing and shameful’, FIR filed

“Digital platforms like these are rife with misogyny and communal hatred aimed at women. This is very disturbing and shameful. Maharashtra govt is taking strong action against such platforms,” Patil tweeted.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai, Pune |
Updated: January 2, 2022 11:32:59 am
Maharashtra: MoS Patil asks Tek Fog victims to lodge police complaintMaharashtra Minister of State (Home) Satej Patil (Express Photo/Ganesh Shirsekar/ File)

Taking cognisance of anonymous Twitter handles targeting Muslim women with objectionable hashtags #BulliBai and #SulliDeals, Maharashtra Minister of State for Home and Information & Technology Satej Patil has ordered the state cybercrime branch to take immediate and strict action against the perpetrators.

“Digital platforms like these are rife with misogyny and communal hatred aimed at women. This is very disturbing and shameful. Maharashtra Govt. is taking strong actions against such platforms. I have instructed @MahaCyber1 for the same @ they are on it,” Patil tweeted on Saturday.

More than 100 Muslim women are being targeted by anonymous Twitter accounts by posting their pictures with objectionable hashtags such as #BulliBai and #SulliDeals.

Minister Patil again tweeted in the evening, “Maharashtra Cyber Police and Mumbai Cyber Cell have already initiated the inquiry and an FIR is being filed in this regard. Be assured, we will take this to a logical end with the culprits facing the law.”

He also made an appeal to the people to come forward and give information regarding such platforms. “If there’s any more info in this regard, pls feel free to share it with Maharashtra Cyber Police and Mumbai Cyber Cell,” he tweeted.

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi too demanded stern action against the culprits. She tweeted, “First they came using #SulliDeals, now as #BulliDeals, expect cooperation from @TwitterIndia, as some accounts have been flagged, will help reach the perpetrators sooner, @GoI MeitY @HMOIndia… Considering @CPMumbaiPolice has taken this issue up seriously, expect @TwitterIndia to cooperate and provide them with information needed. Stonewalling the investigation citing intermediary safe harbour will not be helpful to ensure justice is served @shaguftakamran2 @PayalKamat.”

A Delhi-based journalist has filed a complaint with the cyber cell of south-east district police, alleging that unidentified persons uploaded doctored photos of her on a webpage alongside objectionable comments “aimed at insulting Muslim women”. Sources in the cyber cell claimed they had identified some accounts in connection with the objectional posts, which were deactivated following the police complaint. Police are trying to get further details.

The complainant states, “I was shocked to find out this morning that a website… had a doctored picture of me in an improper, unacceptable and clearly lewd context. I am often the target of online trolls and this seems to be the next step in such harassment. This needs immediate action as the same is clearly designed to harass me and other similarly situated independent women and journalists.”

She further wrote: “The term bulli-bai itself seems disrespectful and the content of this website is clearly aimed at insulting Muslim women as the derogatory term buli is used exclusively for Muslim women and the entire website seems to have been designed with the intent of embarrassing and insulting Muslim women. The term bulli of the day further objectifies and dehumanises women.”

This comes six months after police in Delhi and Noida registered cases in connection with photos of Muslim women being uploaded on a Github app. No arrests have been made in connection with that complaint.

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