3 weeks on, no response from GitHub, police in the dark

Almost three weeks after police in Delhi and Noida registered cases in connection with photos of Muslim women being uploaded on an app called ‘Sulli deals’, officials say their probe has hit a roadblock since GitHub – the US-based internet company that the accused used to create the website – has not responded to their notices and requests.

On July 7 and 8, police in Noida and Delhi registered separate FIRs against unknown persons for creating the app where photos of women were uploaded with an intention to defame and harass them – the text accompanying the photo read ‘Deal of the day’. The photos of the women, including a pilot and journalists, were taken from their social media pages.

No arrest has been made so far.

Anyesh Roy, DCP (Cyber Cell), said, “We sent notices to GitHub but haven’t received a reply. Our team has approached them several times but there’s been no response.”

Senior officers said they need information about the users, creators, and owners of the app. “We have sent queries and need their reply. Since the company is headquartered in the US, they don’t follow our guidelines and Indian laws and may take weeks to respond. We have now approached our legal assistance cell to move forward with the case,” said a police officer.

“We are yet to receive a complaint from the women,” said the officer, adding that they did receive a complaint from the National Commission for Women. “Once we get replies from GitHub, we will call the women to record their statements.”

Meanwhile, the women told The Indian Express they are awaiting updates from both Delhi and Noida police.
Said one of the women: “I didn’t lodge a complaint, but I am in contact with a few women who did. It was a nightmare to be on the ‘Sulli deals’ page. To date, I get threats online and get trolled for no reason. Neither Delhi Police nor Noida Police contacted me. I don’t know any of the accused and randomly discovered my name and Twitter display photo on that page. We hope to get an update soon.”

Another woman, a pilot, who lodged a complaint with Noida police, said, “The men on the app were trying to auction us and discussing our rates. I haven’t received any update in the case, though I am in touch with the police.”

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