Sabarimala row: Activist Rehana Fathima transferred by BSNL after protests over her failed attempt to enter Ayyappa temple
Activist Rehana Fathima, a BSNL employee who had made an attempt to enter the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala, has been transferred to the Palarivattom telephone exchange in the city where public contact is not required.
Kochi: Activist Rehana Fathima, a BSNL employee who had made an attempt to enter the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala, has been transferred to the Palarivattom telephone exchange in the city where public contact is not required, sources said.
Fathima, a telecom technician working in the customer relations section at the Boat Jetty branch in Kochi, was Tuesday transferred to the telephone exchange at Palarivattom, the sources said. However, the sources said she has not committed dereliction of duty. Sabarimala Karma Samithi Tuesday organised a protest march to the Palarivattom BSNL office, seeking her expulsion.
The Kerala Muslim Jama'ath Council had expelled Fathima from the Muslim community for "hurting sentiments of lakhs of Hindu devotees". The activist's house was allegedly vandalised by unidentified people while she was away trying to climb the holy hills on Friday. She made a failed attempt to reach the temple with heavy police protection. The attackers reached Fathima's house in Panambilly Nagar here while she was climbing the hills.
Fathima, a model and activist who was part of the 'Kiss of Love' movement in Kochi in 2014 against alleged moral policing, was among the two women who had reached the hilltop but had to return before reaching the sanctum sanctorum following massive protests by Ayyappa devotees. A mother of two, the activist had kicked up a row last year by posing for photos topless with watermelons to protest against a Kozhikode-based college professor's statement comparing women's breasts to watermelons. A case had been registered by police in Pathanamthitta against the activist for hurting religious sentiments.
On 28 September, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the then chief justice Dipak Misra had lifted the centuries-old ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine, but a section of devotees has been protesting the decision.