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Kerala activist Rehana Fathima arrested for hurting religious sentiments amid Sabarimala stir

Rehana Fathima had allegedly put a provocative post on social media angering many believers after her attempt to trek to the hill temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa last month failed.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2018 17:30 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
sabarimala temple case,sabarimala temple news,sabarimala temple entry
Rehana Fathima was booked by police under Section 295 A (outraging religious feeling and creating enmity between different communities) of IPC after a Sabarimala devotee complained against her social media post. (ANI/Twitter)

Kerala activist Rehana Fathima was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly posting a message on social media that hurt religious sentiments, police said.

Fathima was booked by Pathanamthitta police under Section 295 A (outraging religious feeling and creating enmity between different communities) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after a Sabarimala devotee complained against her post.

“Absconding for more than three weeks, she was arrested from Ernakulam. She will be produced in a court in Pathanamthitta in the evening,” a senior police officer said.

Fathima put a provocative post on social media angering many believers after her attempt to trek to the hill temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa last month failed. An employee of the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), she had moved Kerala high court anticipating an arrest but it refused to entertain her plea.

Fathima and Hyderabad-based digital journalist Kavita Jakkala were taken to the shrine under heavy police security but were forced to go back after protesters lay on the trekking path, and the tantri or the supreme priest threatened to close the temple if they climbed the 18 holy steps.

They were almost 50 metres away from the sanctum sanctorum.

Fathima’s house was vandalised by protesters as the news spread that she had attempted to trek to the hilltop shrine. After her foiled Sabarimala trip, the Muslim Jamath Council expelled her from the community saying “she hurt religious sentiments of Hindu brethren”.

The mother of two was later transferred to an insignificant post by BSNL.

A controversial activist, she acted nude in a film and was closely associated with the Kiss of Love movement in 2014 against alleged moral policing.

She had kicked up a row last year by posing for topless photos with watermelons in protest against a Kozhikode-based college professor’s statement comparing women’s breasts to watermelons.

First Published: Nov 27, 2018 15:03 IST