On January 1, Quratulain Rehbar, a journalist from Indian-administered Kashmir, woke up to see herself listed for an “online auction”. Her photograph was sourced without her permission and uploaded on an app for “sale”.
She was not alone.
Photographs of more than 100 Muslim women, including prominent actress Shabana Azmi, wife of a sitting judge of Delhi High Court, multiple journalists, activists and politicians were displayed on the app for auction as “Bulli Bai” of the day.
Even Fatima Nafees, 65-year-old mother of disappeared student Najeeb Ahmed and Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai were not spared by the perpetrators behind the app.
“I have been trying to gather some strength to write something about Bulli Deals. Just when I thought I had left the trauma of Sulli Deals behind me, it came to haunt us (me along with more than 112 Muslims Women) again with an updated version, as a new year present,” tweeted Activist Poet, Nabiya Khan
After last July’s “Sulli Deals“, in which nearly 80 Muslim women were put up “for sale”, “Bulli Bai” was the second such attempt in less than a year, reports Al Jazeera.
Earlier in June 2021, another app with a name similar to the one currently under investigation had appeared on GitHub with pictures of Muslim women captioned ‘deal of the day.
Subsequently, on 7 and 8 July, police in Noida and Delhi had registered separate FIRs against unknown persons in the case, but nothing has come out of the investigations so far.
The ineffective Police and broken system denied justice to Muslim women. The police did not arrest a single person and now within a year, it has come back to haunt Muslim women.
Rana Ayyub, a Mumbai-based columnist with The Washington Post, told Al Jazeera people are “hailing targeted harassment of women without being identified by law”.
“Bulli Bai takes hate crimes in India to another dangerous level where Muslim women are being virtually violated and made a free-for-all for a bigoted mob,” she said.
“These auctions of women from the minority communities display the moral degradation of India and its constitutional values.”
Source Al Jazeera, Twitter