Updated: November 27, 2018 2:41:51 pm
Kerala activist Rehana Fathima, who had attempted to enter the Sabarimala temple on October 19 after the Supreme Court allowed entry of women of all ages into the shrine, was arrested by Pathanamthitta police Tuesday on charges of allegedly hurting religious sentiment in a Facebook post.
“A case under section 295(a) has been registered. She will be produced before a magistrate soon,” G Sunil Kumar, Inspector of Police, Pathanamthitta, confirmed to The Indian Express. The arrest comes after a local court rejected an anticipatory bail petition that Fathima had filed in connection with the case.
The 31-year-old BSNL engineer was unsuccessful in her bid to enter the Lord Ayyappa shrine after the head priest of the temple threatened to lock the temple door if she entered it. The attempt raised a storm that prompted the Travancore Devaswom Board to announce that it would move the Supreme Court with a detailed report on the “alarming” incidents in the aftermath of its verdict lifting age bar on entry of women to the shrine and the Kerala government urging that the temple not be made a place for activism. She was later also expelled from the Muslim community for “hurting the sentiments of lakhs of Hindu devotees”.
Rehana Fathima, however, is no stranger to controversies or standing up to them. She broke into the headlines in March this year when, in protest against comments from a professor in Kozhikode who said “women should cover their watermelon-like-breasts”, she posted pictures of herself with watermelons covering her breasts. Hours after sharing the pictures, they were taken down by Facebook after a flurry of trolls and threats.
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In 2014, she participated in the Kiss of Love campaign in Kerala against moral policing.
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