A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to Niraj Bishnoi and Aumkareshwar Thakur, who are accused of creating separate apps that illegally posted photographs of Muslim women as part of an “online auction” aimed at harassing and abusing them, ANI reported.
The court said the accused men were first time offenders and their continued incarceration would be detrimental to their overall wellbeing.
Bishnoi is accused of creating an open-source app on the Microsoft-owned Github platform called “Bulli Bai”, while Thakur is the alleged creator of “Sulli Deals” application. Both “bulli” and “sulli” are derogatory terms to describe Muslim women.
In January, images of more than 100 Muslim women were displayed on the app for auction as “Bulli Bai” of the day. This was the second such attempt in less than a year. In July, photographs of nearly 80 Muslim women were “put up for sale” on the “Suli Deals” application.
At Monday’s hearing, the court also imposed conditions on the accused persons so that they do not threaten any witness or tamper with the evidence. The court directed Bishnoi and Thakur to provide their contact details and addresses to the investigating officers and to keep their phones switched on.
Deputy Commissioner of Police KPS Malhotra told IANS that the main grounds for granting bail to the accused men was that the forensic results and replies from intermediaries were still awaited.
“The trial court had relied upon the evidence against the accused persons and no shortcoming in the investigation was pointed out,” Malhotra added.
Thakur has been named in a 700-page chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police and faces charges under the Indian Penal Code pertaining to promoting enmity, causing disharmony and sexual harassment. Bishnoi is also facing similar charges. The Delhi Police had arrested him on January 9.