Dozens of Muslim women put up for sale online in India by Hindu fanatics

Dozens of Muslim women put up for sale online in India by Hindu fanatics

Dozens of Muslim women link in India link last Sunday found they had been put up for sale link online link.

Hana Khan, a commercial pilot whose name was on the list, told the BBC she was alerted to it when a friend sent her a tweet which took her to "Sulli Deals", an app link and website that had taken publicly available pictures of women and created profiles, describing the women as "deals of the day".

The app link landing page had a photo of an unknown woman. On the next two pages Ms Khan saw photos of her friends. On the page after that she saw herself. "I counted 83 names. There could be more," she told BBC. "They'd taken my photo from Twitter and it had my user name. This app link was running for 20 days and we didn't even know about it. It sent chills down my spine."

The app link pretended to offer users the chance to buy a "Sulli" - a derogatory slang term used by right-wing Hindu trolls for Muslim women link. There was no real auction of any kind - the purpose of the app link was just to degrade and humiliate.

Ms Khan said she had been targeted because of her religion. "I'm a Muslim woman who's seen and heard," she said. "And they want to silence us."

GitHub - the web platform that hosted the open-source app link - shut it down quickly following complaints. "We suspended user accounts following the investigation of reports of such activity, all of which violate our policies," the company said in a statement.

But the experience has left women scarred. Those who featured on the app link all vocal Muslims, including journalists, activists, artists or researchers. A few have since deleted their social media accounts and many others said they were afraid of further harassment.

"No matter how strong you are, but if your picture and other personal information is made public, it scares you, it disturbs you," another woman told BBC.

But several of the women whose details were shared on the app link have taken to social media to call out the "perverts", and vowed to fight. A dozen have formed a WhatsApp group to seek - and offer - support and some of them, including Ms Khan, have lodged complaints with the police.