There is a worrying rise in Islamophobic activity in India as Hindu nationalism has taken hold in the past few years. Most recently, three people were arrested for putting more than 100 Muslim women on auction, without their consent or knowledge, using an online application called Bulli Bai—which is also a derogatory term used in India for Muslim women.
Bulli Bai was an app, set up on 31 December, that featured photographs of hundreds of Muslim women as a part of a ‘fake’ but horrifying auction. According to the BBC, the app was hosted on a platform called Github but has since been taken down.
The police are now investigating the people involved after several victims of the operation filed complaints and went on Twitter to voice their outrage. So far, two 21-year-olds—one of which is an engineering student, and a high school student has been arrested. Satej Patel, junior home minister of Maharashtra, told BBC:
A few more people have been detained for questioning. We will investigate this case to its logical end.
One of the people that were charged is an 18-year-old girl from the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and NDTV reported that she may have been the ‘brain behind the Islamophobic app.' According to the national news channel, she had started this operation for the sake of money. Uttarakhand police chief Ashok Kumar said:
The woman who was arrested from Uttarakhand's Rudrapur in the 'Bulli Bai' app case belongs to a poor family and her father is not alive. It seems she got involved in such activities for money.
This, however, is not the first time such an act has been done against the minority community in India. Last year, there was similar app called ‘Sulli Deals’ that presented 80 profiles of Muslim women as ‘deals of the day.’