Sulli Deals-Bulli Bai Apps, New Face of Hindutva Terror

January 29, 2022 0 By Yatharth

M Aseem

When Mumbai Police reached Assam to arrest Neeraj Bishnoi, a suspect in the Bulli Bai app case they found that Delhi Police had already arrested him just 1 hour before them. According to Delhi Police Neeraj Bishnoi is the ‘Mastermind’ of Bulli Bai app which was used for putting up photographs of more than 200 Muslim women on GitHub, a developer site, and organise a virtual auction of them aiming to humiliate them as sex objects and make them a target of potential sexual assaults. These women included prominent journalists, social-political activists, lawyers, intellectuals, etc. All of them have been vocal for long against the fascist campaign of BJP-RSS and the Modi Government. They have been consistently and strongly raising their voice against the fascist othering of the Muslim minority especially the Muslim women as well as the increasing assaults and crimes against them and suppression of their democratic rights. Just two days later, Delhi Police arrested Aumkareshwar Thakur from Indore, whom they have described as the ‘mastermind’ of a similar app called Sulli Deals created a few months back for the same purpose of spreading hate and instigating sexual assaults against Muslim women. Again, on 22nd January, Delhi Police has arrested Rahul Kapoor from Lucknow in a similar manner when Mumbai Police was already on their way to arrest him after arresting 3 more suspects on 21st January in the Club House abuse case. They have now described him as the creator of the Club House Room where Muslim women were abused in a vulgar manner.

The question naturally arises how and why Delhi Police has become so proactive in all these cases after being completely inactive after a First Information Report (FIR) was lodged with them in Sulli Deals case several months back. Why this strange modus operandi wherein they are only arresting supposed ‘masterminds’ of cases after other arrests by Mumbai Police? How come they are arresting all the ‘masterminds’ as soon as Mumbai Police initiates any action? Actually, Delhi Police directly under Amit Shah was not ready to take any action in Bulli Bai case though the issue had been highlighted on 31st December itself despite much anger and protest in social media. However, the Mumbai Police reporting to opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of Maharashtra registered an FIR on 2nd January on complaint of some targeted women residing in Mumbai. Within 2 days they first arrested Vishal Jha followed by Shweta Singh and Mayank Rawat.

This created an apprehension that Mumbai Police might not only arrest the culprits but also find out all the real conspirators behind it. Hence the urgent action by Delhi Police to launch a parallel investigation and arrest the culprits who could possibly reveal all to Mumbai police. Fact is the parallel investigation and arrests by Delhi police will work as spanner in the works for Mumbai Police investigation and might weaken the case against the culprits. We can cite 2 more facts in support of our suspicions. First, as soon as the arrests began, a campaign was launched by some police officers as well as RSS camp journalists/intellectuals claiming that these suspects were all immature, young, children etc and there was no real violent crime. It was but only a cybercrime, a joke gone too far because of youthful immaturity and their life should not be spoiled by punishment disproportionate to their real crime which is only minor. A senior police officer from Uttarakhand, not related to investigation, canvassed sympathy for Shweta Singh by stating that she belonged to a very poor family and lost both her parents to Covid recently. Second, Delhi Police started a daily series of ‘leaks’ about the arrested suspects to the effect that they targeted some women through this app since they were porn addicts and sexually frustrated implying that there was no intention of real crime. Though even to target some women out of sexual frustration is not an insignificant crime, the question remains why this sexual frustration was vented out against only Muslim women. It can be said with full certainty that this was an act of humiliating the whole Muslim minority community through targeting Muslim women and the reactionary fascist campaign of hate by fascist Sangh is directly responsible for this.

The claim of ‘only a cybercrime’ is also proved wrong by the fact that several Twitter handles like @sage0x11, @hmmaachaniceoki, @jatkhalsa7, @jatkhalsa, @sikhkhalsa11 and @wanabesigmaf created to propagate Bulli Bai app were all attempted to look like belonging to someone from Sikh community. The Twitter handle running Bulli bai app was said to belong to ‘Khalsa Sikh Force’ and one of his followers was named ‘Khalsa Supremacist’ with location shown in Canada. However, Mumbai police investigation has revealed that all these handles were created by Vishal Jha. It makes it crystal clear that it was a very well thought out heinous conspiracy designed to stoke communal hate and enmity between Sikhs and Muslims, the two minority communities. Hence whoever is found responsible for this conspiracy – only those already arrested or more -but it was not only a problem of porn addiction.

Another aspect of the investigations highlighted in the media reports reveals that all these arrested in these cases are what are being called ‘Trads’, i.e., they are members of a group called Tradmahasabha. The decision to create the Sulli Deals app was taken after discussions in this very group. The source code of this app was used later to create the Bulli Bai app. The word Trad is derived from English word Traditional. As it indicates this is a group of rabid hardcore supporters of traditional varna-jaati hierarchy of what they call the Sanatan Hindu Dharma. And it needs no imagination at all to understand that the fanatics for varna-jaati hierarchy can mostly be from the Brahmanas-Savarnas and not from Dalit or backward Shudras. These Trads want to prolong and preserve the traditional superiority and hegemony of upper caste Brahamanism in Indian society. Hence, despite being part of the wider mass of Hindutva supporters they are also an extreme fanatic section within it. Trads even criticise Narendra Modi, RSS and other rightists (called ‘raitas’ by the Trads) bitterly for being ‘soft’ (in their perception) on minorities and Dalit-shudras since the compromise with and gve concessions like reservations to Dalits undermining Savarna hegemony because of political expediency.

Trads distribute extremely obscene and vulgar derogatory material on all social media channels against ‘islamists’, ‘vaamis’ (leftists), Dalits, etc who they term as termites, frogs, cockroaches, etc; create and spread many drogatory memes and morphed images against these opponents; support reactionary traditional rituals like sati; oppose women’s liberation and inter-caste marriages; indulge in inflammatory talk of keeping Dalits and Muslims enslaved and instigate genocide against them; plan to snatch all rights obtained by women and Dalits; etc. Thus, they are an extremist fanatic faction of the Hindutva savarnavadi reactionaries. They dream of dismantling the present constitutional democracy and strict imposition of Manusmriti laws of Varna system instead.

We can consider them as inspired from and equivalent of the neo-Nazi and White Anglo-Saxon supremacist Alt-right groups in US and Europe. We have seen how the non-stop relentless, false, extremist hateful and violent online-offline propaganda by these neo-Nazi and alt-right groups have created many lone-wolf terrorists who have carried out many massacres in US, Europe, New Zealand, etc killing hundreds. As revealed in investigations, constantly instigated by online dog whistles by these groups many of them also joined the attempted coup by Donald Trump supporters at Washington Capitol on 6th January a year back.

When the Hindutvavadi fascist stormtroopers are openly calling for minority Muslim genocides; organising ‘Dharm Sansads’ for organising these genocides; whole state machinery is acting in cahoots with and  protecting them; BJP IT Cell itself is using apps like Tek Fog (please see a separate comment on it below) to send lakhs and millions of tweets, replies and comments through social media to prominent women journalists opposing their agenda to abuse, humiliate, intimidate and threaten them and their small children with rape and murder including sending gruesome pictures/videos of dead bodies and vulgar genitalia to them; putting their name and photographs to organise their virtual auctions, effectively putting them up as targets for potential terrorists; and at that very moment, the mental preparation of young and gullible for that very act by the extremists groups like Trads – one can well imagine the deadly dangerous atmosphere being created by these fascist combines.

There are some who have put forward the argument that Indian society is full of those mentally sick with sexual frustration and most places from school-colleges, offices, online fora and others are full of people with anti-women psyche and incidents targeting women with sexual assault and humiliation are common, and all social media and chat rooms and other internet fora are chockfull of such vulgar ‘discussions’, comments and videos-photographs. Our society being deeply poisoned by communal venom, both Hindu and Muslim sickos have been indulging in such vulgar demeaning fantasising and perverted behaviour targeting women of other religion. So, what is new in these apps?

Sadly, all the above is true. Yes, this communal venom has infected both Hindus and Muslims since long and targeting women to humiliate people of other religions along with other communal abuse has been common and many internet fora, for example, Reddit, are full of such groups. However, before now these groups were anonymous and usually targeted anonymous women, and, if apprehended, they were not patronised and protected with full might of the state and political parties/groups. We have already mentioned how, in the current incidents, prominent women activists and intellectuals have been deliberately targeted and a particular political grouping and state machinery is actively protecting them. Neeraj Bishnoi was actually so sure of going scot free that he was teasing Mumbai Police through tweets challenging them to arrest him. There are also reports that the engineering college in Karnataka where Vishal Jha is enrolled is refusing to take any action against him whereas in the same Karnataka young Muslim students are being barred from attending classes on the excuse of violating uniform rules because they wear hijab. The fascist nature of these incidents is fully bare in front of us all beyond any doubts.

Hence, these heinous criminal incidents point to the emergence of some new groups with typical terrorist signs who with their constant online-offline falsehoods are pushing many young and gullible towards terrorist tendencies. These incidents, therefore, must be seen as the first stage of terrorist activities as they are putting up names and photographs of certain individuals as enemy targets and threatening with them such acts. And the probability of someone brainwashed by the constant propaganda to consider them as enemies of the faith might very well actually commit such an act in future. Moreover, the humiliation, the threats, the attempt to silence these women is part of the ultimate fascist design attempting to humiliate, threaten and silence the whole Muslim minority in to accepting their status as second grade ‘others’ below the normal equal citizenship, and to teach them a ‘suitable lesson’ if someone from the community reacts to this humiliation. It is a fundamental part of the overall fascist project unfolding before our very eyes. These terrorist incidents must be viewed from this outlook.

Tek Fog: Automated Toolkit of Hate

Tek Fog is the app being used by BJP IT Cell to attack their political and other opponents by launching the propaganda blizzards through social media platforms to overwhelm others by their hateful falsehoods prevailing all over social media. This can be used to send lakhs and millions of messages, comments, tweets, replies, etc in minutes and hours utilising platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, ShareChat, etc.  It creates an impression as if millions of people are expressing their views in their support putting many an opponent to demoralisation and become defensive, as their voice is submerged in this veritable flood of messages. Angry because she did not get a job as promised, Arati Sharma, an ex-member of BJP IT Cell, revealed about this app in a tweet which led to 2 reporters conducting a long investigation into this, the report of which has now been published by The Wire in 3 instalments, main points being:

  1. This app can create large number of accounts on social media platforms on its own and send large number of posts and messages through them bye-passing the validations of these platform. It creates an impression that many people are saying something. The lakhs and crores of automated messages can bring their favourite trends on top of social media visibility.
  2. This app allows BJP IT Cell members to hack into inactive WhatsApp accounts of others sending their desired messages to all its contacts creating the impression as if that person is sending those messages.  It also enables them to manage multiple WhatsApp groups.
  3. Excel Sheets can be attached to the app and desired prominent journalists, intellectuals, artists, activists, etc can be targeted by sending them pre-set messages, replies to their tweets, comments on their posts, etc thousands and lakhs. Specific words can be pre-set to abuse and threaten specific persons and questions with irrational arguments can be asked to them. Several prominent women journalists were targeted by them sending abuses, calling them randi, prostitute, anti-national, etc and threats of rape and murder to them and their families were hurled on them through lakhs of tweets.
  4. App can automatically hurl humiliating comments in large numbers on the people who are identified opposing BJP government through keyword search.
  5. This app was also used to spread hate against Tablighi Jamaat and then again in communal violence in Delhi to counter anti-CAA movement.
  6. Several IT Tools like ShareChat are used for the above purpose. What is to be propagated is pre-decided and then launched on large scale using Tek Fog. 

In brief, Tek Fog is an automated tool kit of BJP for spreading hate and violence.