Activist Rehana Fathima, Who Attempted Sabarimala Trek, Arrested Over Facebook Post

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Activist Rehana Fathima, who attempted to enter the Sabarimala Temple on October 19 after the Supreme Court verdict, was arrested by Pathanamthitta Police on Tuesday.  She was arrested in on charges of allegedly hurting religious sentiment through a Facebook post.

Rehana Fathima
Rehana Fathima

Fathima was taken into custody at around 1 pm from BSNL office, Palarivattom, Kochi and is now being taken to Pathanamthitta. She faces charges under Sec 153 (A) of the IPC. Her anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the Kerala high court on 16 November.

She will be produced in court today. Section 153A pertains to promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.

Case against her

On October 20, Pathanamthitta police registered a case against her for sharing “communally divisive” social media posts. The case was filed based on a complaint by Sabarimala Achara Samrakshana Samithi, Secretary Padmakumar P.

Rehana on September 30, posted a picture of herself dressed as an Ayyappa devotee wearing a rudraksha and sporting a patta, with the caption ‘Thathvamasi’. This angered many devotees of Lord Ayyappa.

Geared up in body armour and flanked by hundreds of policemen, Fathima tried to reach the Ayyappa shrine but was forced to turn back following massive protests.

Who is Rehana Fathima?

Rehana Fathima, 31, is a women’s rights activist who tried to enter the Lord Ayyappa shrine in Sabarimala Temple after SC gave a verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the holy shrine.

She is not new to controversy though and first made headlines in March when she expressed her angst against a Kozhikode professor who advised women students to cover her “water melon-like breasts” as they attract men.

Fathima, a government employee who works with BSNL, posed nude with watermelons to protest the professor’s shocking statement. The model and activist from Kochi received massive backlash for the same.

She explained her move saying it was necessary in order “to question the restrictions regarding a woman baring her body”.

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