Delhi: Police file FIR, send notice to GitHub after Muslim women ‘put up for sale’ on app

The Delhi Police on Thursday said it has registered a first information report (FIR) against unidentified persons, four days after pictures of several Muslim women were uploaded without their consent on an app called “Sulli Deals” to imply that these women were “up for sale”
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Published on Jul 08, 2021 11:52 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

The Delhi Police on Thursday said it has registered a first information report (FIR) against unidentified persons, four days after pictures of several Muslim women were uploaded without their consent on an app called “Sulli Deals” to imply that these women were “up for sale”. ‘Sulli’ or ‘Sulla’ is a derogatory slang used to refer to Muslims.

The police have also sent a notice to source code depository platform GitHub, using which these images were uploaded, asking it to share “relevant details”.

Police are awaiting a reply from Github to ascertain the exact number of women who were subjected to the sexual harassment, which came to fore only after a few of the targeted women took to social media with screenshots to highlight the harassment.

Delhi Police spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal said a case of sexual harassment under Indian Penal Code’s Section 354-A was registered on Wednesday following a complaint received on National Cybercrime Reporting Portal regarding “Sulli Deals Mobile Application”.

“The case has been registered by the cyber crime unit (CyPAD) and investigation has been taken up. We have also sent notices to GitHub for sharing relevant details,” Biswal said.

Police said the images were uploaded on the app on July 4 and included those of several known journalists and activists in India and abroad. The app was hosted by GitHub, a provider of Internet hosting. The app was taken down following widespread criticism on social media and after a few women, whose images were uploaded, sought police action. One of them used Twitter to update that she has filed a case in this regard in Noida.

When contacted for a statement, a GitHub spokesperson said, “GitHub has longstanding policies against content and conduct involving harassment, discrimination, and inciting violence. We suspended user accounts following the investigation of reports of such activity, all of which violate our policies.”

A senior CyPAD officer, who asked not to be named, said they have sought details from GitHub to know who created the mobile app and used the platform to upload the objectionable content.

“We also want to know from where that app was developed and who all were involved in its creation.Our investigation will proceed further, once we get the details from GitHub,” the officer said.

On Wednesday, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice to the Delhi Police, seeking an action taken report in the matter by July 12. “Many women had to leave social media platforms after their images got circulated. This is a very serious matter constituting cyber crime. We have asked the cyber crime cell of the Delhi Police to provide us with relevant information about the same,” DCW chief Swati Maliwal had said.

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