A second-year engineering student, who is said to be the main conspirator and creator of the ‘Bulli Bai’ on GitHub and the main Twitter account holder of the app, Neeraj Bishnoi, has been arrested by IFSO (Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit) of the Special Cell of Delhi Police.
Bishnoi was held from Assam by a team of IFSO (Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations unit), Special Cell, led by DCP K.P.S. Malhotra.
Bishnoi is a resident of Jorhat, a village in Assam. He is a second-year B.Tech computer science student at the Vellore Institute of Technology, Bhopal.
After he was arrested by the Delhi Police from Assam, he owned up to creating the platform for defaming women of a particular community but has shown no regret for his actions.
He is highly radicalised, police said.
“He speaks fluent English and accepts his crime. He said he has no remorse,” said a source.
During interrogation, he disclosed that he is the person who created the Bullibai app on Github. He had also created the Twitter handle @bullibai_ and other handles. He further disclosed that the Github account and app were developed in November 2021 and finally updated the app in December 2021.
DCP (IFSO) KPS Malhotra on #BulliBai accused #NeerajBishnoi: “He is the mastermind. Evidence has been found from his phone & laptop, including details of all the profiles uploaded on the app on #github. Bishnoi to be produced in a #Delhi court today.”@TheQuint pic.twitter.com/wY7IqU6ZzU
— Somya Lakhani (@somyalakhani) January 6, 2022
According to police, Bishnoi had, in October, had created a list of women whom he wanted to defame online on his digital devices, a laptop, and cell phones. He was tracing women activists all over social media and downloading their photos.
“The Twitter account was created on December 31. He further disclosed that he had also created one more Twitter account @Sage0x1 for tweeting about the app. He was continuously monitoring the news on social media. He had created yet another Twitter account with the name of @giyu44,” said DCP KPS Malhotra.
Bishnoi had also mocked the Mumbai Police, which had begun investigations and made a couple of arrests, to not “arrest innocent people”, through these Twitter accounts
He had tweeted that Mumbai Police has arrested innocent persons and that boasted he was the main culprit behind the whole matter and challenged the police to arrest him. He was also tweeting news about Bulli Bai on his Twitter account.
Brought to Delhi from Assam on a flight, Bishnoi is currently being interrogated by a team led by the DCP.
The official said that the case was very technical in nature. With the help of CERT-In, the raw data analysis along with the technical details was undertaken and the suspect was identified to be based in Assam’s Jorhat.
Shweta Singh, who was arrested by Mumbai Police from Uttarakhand, had told the police that she was in touch with Twitter user @giyu44 who is based in Nepal and was getting instructions from him.
Bishnoi comes from a simple family, his father runs a grocery shop in Jorhat, and his mother is a homemaker. He has two sisters, one of whom is a lawyer.
The Mumbai Police have arrested one more person, one 21-year-old Mayank Rawat, a DU student.
The arrests by the Mumbai Police were made from Bengaluru and Uttrakhand. Vishal Jha and Mayank are on police remand while the police custody of Shweta ended on January 5.
Multiple handles used to ‘divide’ Sikhs-Muslims
Investigations by Mumbai Police have revealed that not only Bulli Bai, but several other handles were used on social media platforms, ostensibly intended to drive a wedge between Sikh and Muslim communities.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said that three persons have been arrested so far and the probe has shown other social media handles that were deployed to spread hate messages.
Some of them are @Bullibai_, @Sage0x11, @hmmaachaniceoki, @jatkhalsa, @jatkhalsa7, @Sikh_Khalsa11, @wannabesigmaf, etc., on social media platform Twitter.
Six months ago, using the open-source software platform GitHub, the app Sulli Bai was created on which pictures of Muslim women were posted, and a similar modus operandi was carried out with the Bulli Bai app.
All these Twitter handles were purportedly linked to the Sikh community and as per the information available on @Bullibai, the KSF Khalsa Sikh Force had created the app Bulli Bai, said the police.
It was also sought to convey that one Khalsa Supremacist was a ‘follower’ of Bulli Bai app, as per the investigations.
After obtaining information from GitHub, the police teams nabbed three accused — Jha, Singh, and Rawat.
Nagrale said that after the techie’s links came to the fore in the scam probe, he was arrested by a Mumbai Cyber Police team from Bengaluru.
Deploying his technical expertise, Jha managed to conceal his identity to a great extent, and also claimed through @Khalsasupremacist that he was living in Canada, kept changing his name frequently, besides running a YouTube channel, Tavasya Vats, said the police.
So far, no arrests have been made in the ‘Sulli Deal’ case.