‘Sulli Deals’ probe: Delhi police say they want to catch big fish

‘Procedure on to get information about its creators from GitHub through MLAT’

The arrests made by the Mumbai police within days of their investigation into the ‘Bulli Bai’ application seem to have raised a question mark on their Delhi counterparts’ ‘Sulli Deals’ probe, which has been going on for the last six months.

Delhi police sources, however, said they want to go after the big fish: the creators of the application.

“The two youths arrested (by Mumbai Police) in the ‘Bulli Bai’ case are propagators and not creators. Their role was to make the application trend on social media. They had no role in creating the application,” an officer said, adding that they have the resources to go after the propagators of ‘Sulli Deals’ in Delhi and other States but “that will widen the net to no end”. “We want to go after the source because creation of such applications needs to stop in the first place,” he said.

The sources said they are following the procedure through MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty) so that they can obtain information from California-based GitHub, the hosting platform, about the creators of ‘Sulli Deals’.

“The procedure to be followed in the ‘Bulli Bai’ case is being contemplated on,” another investigator said.

Among those who were ‘auctioned’ on ‘Bulli Bai’ was Fatima Nafees, the 52-year-old mother of missing JNU student Najeeb Ahmed, who Delhi Police and later the Central Bureau of Investigation failed to find. The CBI had in 2018 filed a closure report in the case and declared him untraced.

The investigation in the ‘Bulli Bai’ application case has been transferred from the South-East district police to the cyber cell of the Special Cell, the police said on Wednesday.

Explaining the delay in the ‘Sulli Deals’ probe, the police said the MLAT route is time consuming. Once the documents are prepared by the police, the prosecution vets them after which they are sent to the Delhi government’s Home Department which then sends them to the Ministry of Home Affairs for sanction. Then they are sent back to the Delhi government which further gives them to the police who present them before the court for judicial process and then forward them to the CBI. The Central agency then shares them with Interpol which sends them to the Department of Justice for necessary action through its nodal agency.

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