Women Commission issues notice to Delhi Police, seeks report over web app targeting Muslim women

The panel has sought a reply from the police by July 12, Swati Maliwal, the current Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women said.

The Delhi Commission for Women has issued a notice to Delhi Police and sought a detailed action taken report in a matter where photos of Muslim women were uploaded by India’s Hindu right-wing online perverts on an app.

The panel has sought a reply from the police by July 12, Swati Maliwal, the current Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women said.

“The Delhi Commission for Women has taken suo-moto cognisance on media report of uploading of pictures of many girls on internet using a platform namely ‘GitHub’. It has been reported that photos of hundreds of Muslim women and girls were uploaded by an unidentified group on an app using GitHub ? by the name of ‘Sulli Deals’ ? on Sunday, 4 July. Reportedly, Sulli is a derogatory term used to refer to Muslim women,” the notice issued to Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyber Cell, Delhi Police, reads.

As per news reports, the app came to light when people started sharing their pictures with the term ‘Sulli deal of the day’ on Twitter, the women panel said.

“Subsequently, many women had to leave social media platforms after their images got circulated. This is a very serious matter and constitutes cybercrime,” the DCW said.

In the notice, the panel has sought copy of FIR registered in the matter, details of accused identified and arrested in the matter, steps taken to identify and arrest the accused in case of non-arrest and detailed action taken report in the matter. 

On 4 July, it was reported that an anonymous right-wing group used an app called “Sulli Deals” through GitHub, a hosting platform wherein Muslim women were put on auction. Sulli is a derogatory term, more so, a slur hurled at Muslim women. This particular misogynistic attempt to degrade Muslim women misused the pictures of around 100 women picked from social media and circulated them online along with their names and Twitter handles. People have been sharing their ‘sulli deals of the day’ on Twitter, through which this app was revealed.

On opening the app, it provides the user with the option to find their ‘sulli deal of the day’ after clicking on which, it randomly picks up a social media account of a Muslim woman and presents their picture before the user. The motto of the app goes, ‘community driven, open sources project’. After the outrage, several women subjected to this heinous act from the particular list fled from social media, in fear of being identified and harmed. To this horrific turn of events women have been expressing their utter rage and skepticism which has primarily found the derogatory list of the “deals” to contain journalists, activists, artists, researchers and analysts as their prey.

The perversive campaign surfaced online during last Eid after Muslim women shared photos of their Eid celebration online.

The website and application were removed by GitHub after activists campaigned to remove the application immediately as compromising information was shared by the creator.

Although the page is taken down, no police action is reported so far. The application has sparked anger among women and activists who are demanding law enforcement agencies take action.