Sulli Deals App Creator Arrested from MP, Cops Say Niraj Bishnoi Gave Info
This is the first arrest made in the case.
Reporters: Vishnukant Tiwari
Izhar Hasan Khan
Video Producer: Naman Shah
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Six months after Sulli Deals app was created on Github, Delhi Police arrested a 26-year-old man from Madhya Pradesh's Indore on Sunday, 9 January, identified as Aumkareshwar Thakur, who is allegedly the creator of the app.
In July 2021, photos of several Muslim women were uploaded on this app, with accompanying text: "deal of the day".
Two separate FIRs were filed in the matter in Delhi and Noida.
Thakur, who has done his BCA from IPS Academy, was arrested by the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Special Cell, Delhi Police.
DCP (IFSO) KPS Malhotra told The Quint that Niraj Bishnoi, the alleged main conspirator of Bulli Bai app who was arrested from Assam's Jorhat on Wednesday, 5 January 2022, "led them to Thakur."
A senior police officer told The Quint that "Bishnoi was a part of a group called 'Trad Community Group' and there was mention of Sulli Deals app, and its creator. This is how the two got to know each other, and during Bishnoi's interrogation, he disclosed information about Thakur."
Meanwhile, Indore Police Commissioner Harinarayan Chari Mishra told The Quint that the Delhi Police informed them about Thakur’s arrest after reaching Delhi.
After being produced in front of a Delhi Court on Sunday, he was sent to police custody for four days.
WHO IS THE ALLEGED CREATOR?
DCP Malhotra said, "Thakur had joined a group on Twitter by the name of TradMahaSabha in January 2020 using the twitter handle @gangescion. During various group discussions, the members had discussed about trolling and defaming Muslim women."
He added that during Bishnoi's interrogation, it was revealed that "he used to interact with various virtual identities on social media and used to engage in group discussions. In the month of July 2021, in one of the group in which Niraj Bishnoi was member, the other group member shared the details of Sulli Deals app. That was the first time, Niraj Bishnoi or other group members had heard about the Sulli Deals app on GitHub."
He added that Thakur "had developed the code/app on GitHub. After the uproar regarding the Sulli Deals app, he deleted his social media footprint. Analysis of his gadgets is underway to find out the codes and images related to the Sulli Deals app."
Malhotra further informed, "Based on backtrack analysis and archive data, one Twitter handle in the name of Aumkar Thakur was identified and on 8 January 2022, a team of IFSO, Special Cell went to Indore."
During Thakur's interrogation on Sunday, Malhotra added, "He confessed that he had created the Sulli Deal app. The necessary digital footprints in his laptop and on the cyberspace are being probed."
"He had developed the code on GitHub. The access of GitHub was with all the members of the group. He had shared the app on his twitter account. The photos of the Muslim women were uploaded by the group members."DCP (IFSO) KPS Malhotra
Meanwhile, Thakur's father told mediapersons that his son is "an IT expert, and that those who have been arrested in the Bulli Bai case have taken his name. The Police has taken him away, and they also have his mobile phone and laptop."
The father claimed that his son is being "trapped, and has been arrested only on the basis of claims of arrested people. I know nothing about this case. I am going to Delhi."
Stating that two police personnel in civil dress came to their house, and took him away, Thakur's father added, "My son said that he's not involved in any way, and if he is found to be involved, he should be hanged. He said don't take tension, these people who have named me are only trying to defame me".
WHAT WAS SULLI DEALS?
Photos of several Muslim women were uploaded on 'Sulli Deals' – on Sunday, 4 July 2021. Sulla or Sulli is a derogatory term used to refer to Muslims. The app came to light when people started sharing their 'deal of the day' on Twitter, but it has since been removed by GitHub.
"Once opened, the app would ask the user to click on 'Find your sulli deal of the day'. It would then randomly display a photo of a Muslim woman as your 'sulli deal of the day' – the photo most likely sourced from their social media account. I was shocked to see my face being right there, displayed as the deal of the day," Hana Mohsin Khan, a pilot by profession, had told The Quint.
(With inputs from Izhar Hasan Khan.)
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