Arrested on November 27, Rehana Fathima’s bail application was earlier rejected by Chief Judicial Magistrate Court of Pathanamthitta on December 4.

Activist Rehana Fathima moves Kerala High Court for bail
news Sabarimala Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 09:10

On Monday, activist Rehana Fathima moved the Kerala High Court seeking bail in the case of her social media post that was claimed to be communally divisive in nature. She was remanded in judicial custody on November 27. Her earlier bail application was rejected by Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Pathanamthitta, on December 4. The petition before the Kerala HC was filed through advocate Renjith B Marar.

The Bar and Bench reports that her petition states that she was singled out to be a “scapegoat” after she expressed her opinion on the Sabarimala issue, and also pointed out that she had been threatened and harassed on social media. The Week reports that Rehana stated that she should be released on bail “in the interest of justice”.

Rehana Fathima was arrested by Pathanamthitta police from the BSNL office at which she worked in Kochi, on November 27, and a case was reportedly registered against her under IPC section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and section 505 (statements conducive to public mischief).

Soon after her arrest, Rehana was suspended by BSNL. The PRO officer of BSNL had told TNM that she would remain suspended until further internal investigations were conducted against her. Three days after her attempt to climb Sabarimala hill and enter the temple there, she had been transferred from the BSNL office to another role in Ravipuram, which would not require face-to-face contact with customers.

The allegations against her pertain to a photo that she had posted on Facebook soon after the SC verdict allowing women’s entry into the temple, which allegedly hurt the religious sentiment of Ayyappa devotees. The complaint against her was reportedly made by V Radhakrishna Menon, the president of an association called Pancha Divya Desha Darsan.

Rehana had moved the Kerala High Court for anticipatory bail on October 30 in this case, and this was rejected by the court on November 16.

Rehana hit headlines after her controversial and abortive attempt to enter Sabarimala temple on October 19, soon after the temple opened for the first time after the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling on September 27 allowing women of all ages to enter the temple.

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