A Mumbai sessions court on Tuesday granted bail to three persons accused in a case related to an app that illegally posted photographs of Muslim women as part of an online “auction” aimed at harassing and abusing them, PTI reported.
Additional Sessions Judge AB Sharma granted bail to Neeraj Bishnoi, Aumkareshwar Thakur and Neeraj Singh.
Images of prominent Indian Muslim women had been uploaded on the “Bulli Bai” application as part of an online “auction”. On January 1, many of the women who were targeted highlighted the incident on social media.
This was the second such attempt in less than a year. In July last year, an app called “Sulli Deals” had posted hundreds of images of Muslim women and described them as “deals of the day”.
“Bulli” and “sulli” are abusive and derogatory ways of referring to Muslim women.
In his bail application filed through advocate Shivam Deshmukh, Bishnoi claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case, reported PTI. Suggesting that his co-accused had already been given bail, Bishnoi sought parity in the case.
On April 12, a Mumbai court had granted bail to three accused in the “Bulli Bai” case – Vishal Jha, Shweta Singh and Mayank Rawat.
The judge had said that Jha, Singh and Rawat played a lesser role as compared to the other two accused persons, who were older and had a “deeper understanding” of the matter.
While granting them bail, the court had also asked their parents or caregivers to arrange for their counselling, including appropriate behaviour on social media. The judge had noted that the three accused persons had examinations and that their future prospects would be hampered if they were to remain in jail.
Meanwhile, the court observed the allegations against Thakur, Neeraj Singh and Bishnoi were serious, adding that that they had deliberately created the app.
In a chargesheet filed in March, the police claimed that Bishnoi had asked a co-accused to send him photos of 100 “famous and non-Bharatiya Janata Party Muslim women” so he could put them up for auction, PTI reported.
Bishnoi was also the first person to have shared the link to the “Bulli Bai” app on his Twitter group, the chargesheet said.
After Tuesday’s order, all the accused persons arrested by the Mumbai Police in the case have been granted bail, according to The Quint.