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UN official says ‘Sulli Deals’ form of hate speech in India, must be condemned

United Nations/Geneva, January 12 (KMS): A UN Special Rapporteur has said that harassment of Muslim women in India through social media apps such as “Sulli Deals” must be condemned and prosecuted as soon as they occur.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues, Dr Fernand de Varennes, in a tweet on Tuesday raised concern on the issue of minorities in India sating that the Muslim women in India are harassed and sold in social media apps.

“Minority Muslim women in India are harassed & ‘sold’ in social media apps. Sulli Deals, a form of Hate Speech, must be condemned and prosecuted as soon as they occur. All human rights of minorities need to be fully & equally protected,” Varennes said in a tweet.

The Delhi Police arrested 26-year-old Aumkareshwar Thakur, last week, from Indore city of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. He created “Sulli Deals” app through which hundreds of Muslim women were listed for auction with photographs sourced without permission and doctored.

A Bachelor of Computer Application degree holder, Thakur admitted that he was a member of a group on Twitter and the idea to defame and troll Muslim women was shared there.

In a separate “Bulli Bai” case, the Delhi Police on January 1 registered an FIR in connection with an online complaint submitted by a city-based woman journalist against unknown persons for allegedly uploading her doctored picture on a portal. The case pertains to the creation of the ‘Bulli Bai’ app, which targeted Muslim women by putting up their images online for “auction”.

According to the Delhi Police, 21-year-old Niraj Bishnoi, who was arrested from Assam, was the mastermind and creator of the “’Bulli Bai”’ application. He had revealed during interrogation that he was in touch with the person who created “Sulli Deals” app.

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