More than 4,000 signatories, including several victims of the Bulli Bai mock-auction app, have urged Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana to register a petition and monitor the police investigations into such crimes.
Both Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals, another app mentioned by the signatories, had put prominent Muslim women up for mock auctions by illegally using their social media pictures.
So far, five persons have been arrested by police from Mumbai and Delhi in separate cases.
The letter highlighted the inordinate delay on the part of the police in Delhi and
Uttar Pradesh in investigating the Sulli Deals FIRs filed in July last year. The letter urged the Supreme Court to urgently intervene to safeguard the constitutional rights of minority communities.
“Given the colossal failure of the state machinery in adequately responding to such instances of hate crimes in the country, the onus now falls upon the Supreme Court to urgently intervene to safeguard the constitutional rights of minority communities and restore public faith in constitutional systems,” the letter said.
The 4,463 signatories include Kavita Srivastava of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Teesta Setalvad of the Citizens for Justice and Peace, S.Q.R. Ilyas of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH)-backed Welfare Party of India, Shamseer Ibrahim of the JIH-supported student group Fraternity Movement, Annie Raja of the CPI-backed National Federation of Indian Women, Clifton D’Rozario of the CPIML-Liberation-backed All India Lawyers Association for Justice, former Delhi Minorities
Commission chairperson Zafarul-Islam Khan, Hasina Khan of the Bebaak Collective, Zakia Soman of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Meera Sanghamitra of the National Alliance of People’s Movements, sociologist Angana Chatterji and filmmakers Saba Dewan and Vani Subramanian.
The letter to CJI Ramana lists the following demands:
1. The police must register FIRs suo motu and on the basis of complaints, investigate the offence expeditiously and take necessary steps against the perpetrators.
2. The apex court should monitor the investigation and prosecution.
3. The Supreme Court should also monitor the investigation and prosecution with regard to the FIRs registered in July 2021 in connection with Sulli Deals. The court should take action if it is found that the police have failed to discharge their duties.
4. The court should direct the authorities concerned to ensure that the GitHub and Twitter platforms are not used for such blatantly illegal activities as the Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai apps.
4. The court should order the payment of suitable compensation to the victims of these communal hate crimes.
5. The court should direct that appropriate steps are taken to ensure the prevention of any such communal hate crimes in the future.
Delhi police arrested Indore resident Aumkareshwar Thakur in the Sulli Deals case on Sunday. Three engineering students and a teenaged girl had earlier been arrested from Uttarakhand, Assam and Bangalore in connection with the Bulli Bai app.