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Hate app chargesheet: Accused sought photos of ‘100 famous Indian non-BJP Muslim women’ for app

A chargesheet was filed earlier this month against six persons arrested in January after a woman filed a complaint on January 1 on finding her photograph, along with those of other Muslim women, on an online portal with objectionable comments, including talk of their “auction”.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai |
Updated: March 10, 2022 7:45:58 am
Mumbai hate speech app caseThe chargesheet claimed that one handle, claimed to be of accused Niraj Bishnoi (20), had discussed “doing something big” with co-accused Niraj Singh (28) on a group they were part of. It added that the discussion on the group shows that Bishnoi had sought photos of 100 famous Indian non-BJP Muslim women for the app.

The chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police against six persons for creating an app to upload photos of Muslim women with objectionable comments has claimed that the accused had sought photos of “100 famous Indian non-BJP Muslim women” for the app.

A chargesheet was filed earlier this month against six persons arrested in January after a woman filed a complaint on January 1 on finding her photograph, along with those of other Muslim women, on an online portal with objectionable comments, including talk of their “auction”.

The chargesheet claimed that one handle, claimed to be of accused Niraj Bishnoi (20), had discussed “doing something big” with co-accused Niraj Singh (28) on a group they were part of. It added that the discussion on the group shows that Bishnoi had sought photos of 100 famous Indian non-BJP Muslim women for the app.

“A few members of the group then sent links of Twitter handles of Muslim women and screenshots. After a few days, the handle (Bishnoi) said that the source code for the app for auctioning is ready, it cannot be cracked or copied. He also said that photos of 50 non-BJP Muslim women were found. Another 50 photos or screenshots were sought,” the chargesheet alleged.

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It stated that on January 1, the app was posted on the Twitter group Trad Mahasabha, of which the accused were members and it was asked to be shared for likes. It added that after there was a furore over the app on social media and Singh found out that a complaint had been filed, he advised members to delete their Twitter accounts and stay away from social media for a few days.

The chargesheet also claimed that the app’s link was shared on January 1 on the group by Bishnoi, who created the app based on the open source created by co-accused Aumkareshwar Thakur, who had come up with a similar app before. A day before this, Bishnoi allegedly told members to change their original Twitter handles to names that sounded like they belonged to the Sikh community. The police have claimed that this was done to spread enmity between different groups. The chargesheet names Bishnoi, Niraj Singh, Thakur, Vishal Kumar Jha, Shweta Singh and Mayank Rawat as accused. While Bishnoi and Thakur are also named in the earlier app case filed by the Delhi Police and are currently in Tihar jail, the others are lodged in Mumbai jails.

The chargesheet stated that while the Delhi Police had shared information regarding the devices of Bishnoi, it had so far not provided details of Thakur.
The chargesheet further claimed that all of them had multiple accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Protonmail, YouTube and Gmail and operated these through anonymous identities. There were also discussions between them on the use of VPN to hide their IP addresses. Jha for instance used VPN to show that his location was Canada, the police have claimed.

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The police further said that they were members of various groups on Twitter and also in touch through their social media accounts directly. The link to the app was first shared on a group named High IQ Bruh, created by Shweta. They were also asked to share the link to the app.

The police have said that there was activity between the accused on their accounts between January 3-5 after the complaint was filed. The discussions then were about deleting messages, taking precautions. In one conversation on January 3 for instance, allegedly between Shweta and Niraj Singh, the latter typed — “Bas pray karo, Twitter detail na de (Just pray, Twitter does not provide details)”.

“The only things that save our gangs is we take all safety precautions. Ab jab track hi nahi honge to how will they arrest,” the discussion continued.

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The chargesheet claimed that Bishnoi had taken inspiration from the fact that the earlier app remained untraced despite a complaint filed with the Delhi Police. He sought photographs of Muslim women from the members seeking those particularly who are vocal about their views and proactive on social media.

The police have annexed details of their accounts to show that some of the accused were in constant touch with each other. Lawyers of the accused in their bail pleas had denied that they were part of the case. Jha’s lawyer Shivam Deshmukh had said that he was a mere follower and his custody was not required.

The court has rejected the pleas of some accused, stating that they had caused defamation by portraying themselves to be Sikhs and hurt the feelings of the community, along with the dignity and modesty of women.

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First published on: 10-03-2022 at 12:24:51 am

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