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Police in two states has opened investigations after an app posted images of more than 100 Muslim women for sale on the internet.

The accused include the app’s creators as well as the Twitter accounts that spread the photographs and text.

Bulli Bai, an open-source software, was hosted on the web platform GitHub, which has since taken it offline.

This was the second time in months that Muslim women were “auctioned” online to harass them. In July, the app and website “Sulli Bargain” generated profiles for over 80 Muslim women based on images they supplied to the internet and branded them as deals of the day.

There was no real sale in each case; the goal was to demean and humiliate Muslim women by publishing their intimate photographs.

Sulli is a harsh Hindi slang name for Muslim women, used by right-wing Hindu trolls, and bulli is equally insulting.

Over the weekend in Delhi, journalist Ismat Ara, whose name and photo appeared on the Bulli Bai app, filed a police complaint. It was brought against anonymous people on counts of sexual harassment and incitement to hatred on religious grounds.

Based on a complaint from another woman on the Bulli Bai list, Mumbai police filed a second case against multiple Twitter handles and the app’s makers.

Among those in attendance were journalists, activists, an award-winning Bollywood actress, and even the mother of a university student who went missing in 2016.

The police have made no arrests in the Sulli Deals case nearly six months later.

Ms Asra told Al Jazeera that the investigation’s lack of progress did not inspire trust.

According to a tweet, the chairwoman of the National Commission for Women has urged the Delhi Police Commissioner to inform the commission “as soon as possible” of the case’s outcome.

The more vocal a woman was, according to an Amnesty International investigation into online harassment in India in 2018, the more likely she was to be targeted. The scope of the issue was disclosed. Critics claim that in India’s polarised political climate, trolling targeting Muslim women has gotten worse in recent years.


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