Sabarimala Temple row: Kerala HC rejects anticipatory bail for activist Rehana Fathima, who tried to enter shrine in October

The Kerala High Court on Friday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Rehana Fathima, an activist who tried to enter Sabarimala Temple when the shrine opened in October. The high court instructed the Kerala Police to go ahead with necessary action against Fathima. Meanwhile, six people, who were arrested in relation to the Sabarimala protests were granted bail, according to reports.

On 30 October, Rehana moved the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail, after the Pathanamthitta police on 22 October filed a case against Rehana for putting up social media posts that are allegedly communally divisive in nature. A case was registered under IPC section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs), Pathanamthitta CI Sunil Kumar told The News Minute.

The case was registered after a complaint was filed by Sabarimala Samtakshana Samithy alleging that some Facebook posts of Rehana hurt religious sentiments, reported Times of India.

Rehana Fathima. Image courtesy Rehana Fathima's Facebook profile

Rehana Fathima. Image courtesy Rehana Fathima's Facebook profile

After her attempt to enter the shrine on 19 October, the Kerala Muslim Jama'ath Council had also expelled Fathima from the Muslim community for "hurting sentiments of lakhs of Hindu devotees".

According to PTI, in October, the activist's house in Panampilly Nagar was allegedly vandalised by unidentified people while she was away trying to climb the holy 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.

The temple town has witnessed protests by Hindu groups and temple tantri and officials ever since a Supreme Court verdict on 28 September, allowed women of all ages to pray at Lord Ayyappa temple that hitherto banned girls and women aged between 10 and 50. The Sabarimala Temple will open at 5 pm on Friday for its 41-day Mandalam-Makaravilakku.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Nov 16, 2018 12:50:15 IST

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