21-year-old Neeraj Bishnoi who is the primary accused in the Bulli Bai case, was arrested by Delhi Police’s Special Cell on Thursday from his hometown in Jorhat, Assam. Investigations claim that Bishnoi resorted to burner emails and multiple phone numbers to cover his tracks.
Neeraj Bishnoi who is the primary accused in this case, is the creator of the Bulli Bai mobile application which hosts several photos of Muslim women. These photos were posted without consent for the purpose of a virtual auction and show a clear case of targeted crime. Bishnoi is a B. Tech student studying at Vellore Institute of Technology Bhopal. Post his arrest he has been suspended from the institution.
He was arrested and taken into custody for further questioning on Thursday.
How did the Police Trace and Arrest Neeraj Bishnoi?
After news of the existence of the Bulli Bai App broke, as many as 6 cases were filled early on. A woman who filed a complaint at the Cyber Cell of Police in South Delhi alleged that her photograph had been uploaded to the twitter handle @bullibai_ and a few others. Consequently, an FIR was lodged and the said account was suspended by Twitter and the controversial and demeaning application was removed from the GitHub platform.
In order to locate the culprit, immediate technical assistance was provided to the Delhi Police.
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) provided data obtained from the GitHub platform team and other sources which was then constructively analyzed to deduce the main suspects location in Assam.
Under the strict supervision of Assistant Commissioner of Police Raman Lamba, his team of skilled policemen conducted raids in Assam’s Jorhat area to track down the main suspect in the case, Neeraj Bishnoi.
They were accompanied by the Intelligence Fusions and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police Special Cell who arrested Bishnoi and took him into custody for interrogation on Thursday.
During the interrogation, Bishnoi confessed of having created the horrific Bulli Bai App on the GitHub platform. Additionally, he admitted that he was also responsible for the creation of the twitter handle @bullibai_ and the other handles used and abused in the process.
Bishnoi’s Technical Set Up
Through the course of the investigation, Bishnoi revealed to the police that he developed the app on GitHub in November 2021 and it was consequently updated in the following month of December. The @bullibai_ twitter handle was created on the 31st of December. He also created another twitter handle by the name @Sage0x1 which was used to tweet about and promote the app.
Police reports also revealed that Bishnoi was resorting to burner emails and multiple phone numbers to cover his tracks. A Polish phone number +487**7**661 was used to create the twitter handle while the email ID firstname.lastname@example.org was used to create an account on GitHub. The app was uploaded using the said email ID and was publicized using Polish phone numbers while using Proton VPN to mask his identity.
During the investigation, Bishnoi also revealed that all his nefarious activities were conducted through twitter handles with the ‘Giyu’ in their user ID as he was a fan of Japanese comics and that was his favorite Japanese gaming character. For the same reason, his VPN location was also set to Japan.
Delhi Police has stumbled across multiple such twitter handles like @giyu2002, @giyu007, @giyuu84, @giyu94, @giyu44 said a senior police officer.
One such account @giyu2002 was previously associated with an FIR registered at the Kishangad police station in the southwest of Delhi for making inappropriate comments. The account had posted lewd comments under the picture of a girl and even tweeted and threatened to auction her, informed Deputy Commissioner of Police K. P. S. Malhotra.
Bishnoi mentioned that he was constantly monitoring the case updates on social media. As Mumbai Police made initial arrested in bulli bai case, one such account @giyu44, created by Bishnoi on January 3rd with the sole purpose of demeaning the police, tweeted that they had caught hold of ‘innocent people’ and “You arrested the wrong person Mumbai Police.”
Bishnoi even posted his internal communication and notices with the GitHub platform to prove his point and further attempted to mask his original location and show it as Nepal using technical manipulation to mislead the police.
Involvement in Sulli Deals Case
Police suspect his involvement in the Sulli Deals case, where in a similar app posted images of Muslim women with the intention of auctioning and defaming them. His handle @giyu007 was linked to an instance of planting information about the originators of the Sulli deals app.
Delhi Police also revealed that, Bishnoi had attempted to derail the Sulli deals investigation by misleading the cyber cell. He created a fake profile of a girl and posed as a news reporter as he contacted the investigating agency to probe into details of the case and planted misinformation.
The Police is still further investigating this case.