• Shamsher singh

Delhi Court Grants Bail To ‘Bulli Bai’ and ‘Sulli Bai’ App Case Accused

In the middle of 2021, news about a digital application called Sulli Deals which had images of Muslim women being shared as ‘auctions’, had gone viral. The case was reported to the police, but no major developments were reported for months. The app had appeared on GitHub with pictures of Muslim women captioned 'deal of the day'. The app was also being promoted by a Twitter handle with the name @bullibai, with the display picture of a Khalistani supporter. This twitter handle was endorsing the Bulli Bai app saying women can be booked from the app. This handle was also promoting Khalistani content at the same time and also had photographs or caricatures of turbaned persons in their profile pictures and posts in the Punjabi script in an apparent attempt to mislead others about the identity. The main accused of the case Shweta Singh herself ran a Twitter handle named “JattKhalsa07”, which she allegedly used to post messages directing hate towards the Muslim community. Subsequently, on 7 and 8 July, police in Noida and Delhi had registered separate FIRs against unknown persons in the case . Investigations by the Mumbai Police and then by their counterparts in Delhi had revealed a number of youngsters who allegedly came up with the coding, creation and dissemination of the applications. A Delhi court, on Monday, granted bail to the creators of the controversial ‘Sulli Deals’ app, Aumkareshwar Thakur, as well as the ‘Bulli Bai’ case accused, Neeraj Bishnoi. Granting the bail on humanitarian grounds and noting that the perpetrators were ‘first-time offenders,’ the court held that ‘continued incarceration’ of the duo, who are students, would be ‘detrimental to their future.’. The court also held that the charge sheet had been filed and no shortcoming in the probe was observed. Earlier this month, Ashish Mishra who was the prime accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri case was also granted bail on February 10 in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case Contrary to the seemingly comfortable bails of the aforementioned accused, the plight and present status of the Sikh Political prisoners , who have been languishing in various jails since mid 90’s, is still met with dead silence and insensitive behavior by the Government of India. The Sikhs across the globe, for long, have been assembling inestimable struggles to press upon the Indian state to repeal the death sentence of Balwant Singh Rajoana and release all Sikh prisoners, who have served more than twenty years in prison. These prisoners are Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar, who was convicted by a TADA court in a 1993 Delhi bomb blast case that left nine people dead and 31 injured, Jagtar Singh Hawara, who was convicted as a conspirator in the assassination of former chief minister, Beant Singh, Jagtar Singh Tara, Balwant Singh Rajoana, Gurmeet Singh, Lakhwinder Singh and Shamsher Singh, Gurdeep Singh and Paramjit Singh (all convicted in assassination of Beant Singh). The continued detention of 9 prisoners not only violates the principle of equality but is also a clear violation of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Technically speaking, none of the cases are sub-judice and as such it was only the executive which has to take a final decision in the matter The behavior of the Indian government towards these prisoners allegedly indicates that the State is following a policy of animosity and vendetta against the Sikh prisoners. Also, the successive governments in Punjab continue to wage lip service and express compassion without waking up from deep stagnation. Indeed a characteristic case of sluggish administrative insomnia and insouciance. The Union Home Ministry, Punjab and Delhi’s AAP Government should immediately initiate steps to release these prisoners on humanitarian grounds –a practice which is otherwise followed regularly but easily forgotten on political grounds.

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