Muslim women’s auction app case: SC seeks response from states on key accused’s plea to club FIRs

Aumkareshwar Thakur faces FIRs in Delhi, UP and Maharashtra

Sulli deals

On Friday, the Supreme Court sought a response from the states of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to a plea filed by Aumkareshwar Thakur, the key accused in the S**li Deals and B**li Bai app cases, to club multiple First Information Reports (FIRs) filed against him.  

Readers would recall that both the apps, S**lli Deals (July 2021) and B**li Bai (January 2022), were used to target independent thinking and vocal Muslim women by putting up their images as part of a virtual auction.

Aumkareshwar Thakur who had been arrested from Indore by the Delhi police in January, had moved SC demanding that all the FIRs against him be clubbed together. However, a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh pondered over the possibility of doing so, given how different FIRs included different charges related to the creation of the two apps.

According to Bar and Bench, Justice Kaul remarked, “There are different offences. One is sulli deals and another is Bulli bai. Can different offences be clubbed? You have uploaded photos of various people and each is an aggrieved party.” Further noting that there were multiple uploads, he inquired, “You are saying in respect of each website there are different proceedings. Can you say whatever uploaded is confined to one place?”

On March 28, 2022, Dr. Pankaj Sharma, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) of Patiala House Court in Delhi granted bail to Aumkareshwar Thakur (26), the alleged creator of ‘S**li Deals’ app as well as Neeraj Bishnoi (21), alleged creator of ‘B**li Bai’ app. After bail had been first refused in January 2021, chargesheets had been filed against the ‘prime accused’ Aumkareshwar Thakur and Neeraj Bishnoi in early March 2021. Both accused have been charged with allegedly running the “S**li Deals and B**li Bai mobile apps to auction Muslim women in the virtual space.”

Delhi Police had revealed that both Thakur and Bishnoi were members of TRADS. According to the police, Thakur had joined a TRAD group named Tradmahasabha using the @gangescion Twitter handle. He reportedly told the police that the idea to target and defame Muslim women came from discussions among members of this group. However, he appears to have deleted his online footprint.

Simply put, TRADs are Hate groups comprising people who identify as “Traditionalists” or “Trads”. Additionally, the name is also an acronym of sorts and stems from the fact that these groups are operating predominantly on Telegram, Reddit, 4chan and Discord (thus TR4D or TRAD). The Hate content created and shared on such apps is also shared widely using other social media platforms such as Twitter where these “trads” are often very active, busy trolling anyone who does not agree with their extreme right-wing supremacist views. Members of these hate groups claim to be preserving tradition by targeting those who speak up against it – people like outspoken Muslim women whose images, names and Twitter handles were used in both the auction apps.



Apps auctioning women fuelled by a TRADition of Hate

‘S**li Deals’ a form of Hate Speech: UN Special Rapporteur

Masterminds behind ‘S**li Deals’ and ‘B**li Bai’ apps granted bail



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