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Targeted because we are Muslims: Anti-CAA Jamia girl activists

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New Delhi, 06 Jan 2022 [Fik/News Sources]: Anti-CAA student activists Aysha Renna, Ladeeda Farzana, and Nidha Parveen, who were targeted by the ‘Bulli Bai’ app, on Tuesday, urged the Supreme Court to take suo motu action against the SulliDeals and BulliBai Apps’ which developed to demonize and belittle Muslim women. The girl activists, who shot to fame during the anti-CAA movement in Jamia Millia Islamia Delhi, said they were targeted “because they were Muslims”.

Addressing a press conference in Kerala’s Kozhikode, they said “We strongly demand that the Supreme Court of India must register a Suo motu plea in reference to the continued targeting of Muslim women.”

On 1 January 2022, nearly six months after the ‘Sulli Deals,’ in which right-wing Hindus put photographs of more than 80 Muslim women up for sale, asserting anti-Muslim hatred and selective sexism, photos of hundreds of Muslim women were uploaded by an unidentified group on an app called ‘Bulli Bai’ on GitHub.

Renna, who is now the national secretary of the Fraternity Movement, said Bulli Bai happened because of the deafening silence of the State and law and order agencies over Sulli Deals.

Last time, no police action was taken against the perpetrators in the case, despite two FIRs filed – one in Delhi and another in Uttar Pradesh and more than a dozen complaints were written to several police stations in the country.

 While Ladeeda said that “This is more than just a case of sexual harassment. Rather, it is to reinforce Muslim women’s status in Indian culture and to reassert the belief that Muslim women can be raped at any time.”

“What sense of security do we have as women in public at a time when we are being sold and bought as slaves?” Ladeeda wonders.

Ladeeda and Renna were students at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi, a university that had been subjected to horrific state violence in 2019 as it attempted to quell rallies against the Citizenship Amendment Act. They were singled out by a Delhi policeman and violently assaulted. Following the viral footage of police violence, the two became symbolic figures of the anti-CAA protests that erupted in India in the winter of 2019 when Modi’s government passed the anti-Muslim amendment. They travelled across the country to speak out against the law in rallies.

“It is genuinely quite tough,” says Nidha Parveen, a student at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, to overcome this “fear and pain.”

“What happened in Haridwar and what is happening now in the guise of Sulli deals and Bulli Bai all have the same purpose in mind: the annihilation of Muslims,” Nidha remarked who was also a key figure in the national capital’s anti-CAA protests in 2019. She was a Delhi University student at the time.

Nujaim PK, Kerala secretary of the Fraternity Movement, and Lubaib Basheer, Kannur district president were also present at the news conference.

‘Bulli Bai’ case: Mumbai police now detain Uttarakhand woman, say she handled app.

Apart from the 21-year old Bengaluru man Vishal Kumar Jha detained on Monday, the Mumbai police have also detained a woman from Uttarakhand on Tuesday in connection with the ‘Bulli Bai‘case – a GitHub app targeting hundreds of Muslim women.

“The 21-year-old man arrested by Mumbai Police Cyber Cell has been identified as Vishal Kumar. Main accused in the case is a woman detained from Uttarakhand. Both of the accused know each other,” read Mumbai Police statement.

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