On Monday, activist Rehana Fathima moved the Kerala High Court seeking bail in her case.

Activists to hold demonstrations in Kerala to rally support for Rehana Fathima
news Sabarimala Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 09:39

Activists in various cities in Kerala are planning to hold events and demonstrations in solidarity with and support of jailed activist Rehana Fathima, to further the cause of the activist receiving bail after her November 27 arrest. A “solidarity convention against Rehana Fathima’s unconstitutional arrest” has been planned for December 14 at the Nalanda Auditorium in Kozhikode. This event will reportedly be attended by Anweshi president K Ajitha, activist Viji Penkoott, and writers and activists, P Geetha and MG Mallika.

Meanwhile, the Free Rehana Fathima Action Council will organise a similar solidarity event in Ernakulam. Onmanorama reports that Thrissur already saw a gathering in support of Rehana Fathima on Monday, which was International Human Rights Day. 

A Change.org petition, addressed to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, is also being circulated, requesting the "liberal activist Rehana Fathima" to be freed from jail. The petition states that "it is a grave injustice that Rehana - who is a mother of two young children - has been in jail for weeks even though she has not been found guilty by the court," and further alleges that she did not receive bail in this case "because the Kerala state government’s public prosecutor sided with the Hindu activists, and opposed her request for bail". It also said that "the complaint against Rehana is absurd", pointing out that the photograph she was arrested for posted on social media merely showed her in the garb of Sabarimala devotees with a portion of her leg visible. 

On Monday, activist Rehana Fathima moved the Kerala High Court seeking bail in the case of this social media post that was claimed to be communally divisive in nature. She submitted before the court that she should be released on bail “in the interest of justice”, and claimed that she was being made a scapegoat in the ongoing conflict over Sabarimala temple women’s entry. Her earlier bail application was rejected by Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Pathanamthitta, on December 4.

She was arrested by Pathanamthitta police on November 27 from the Ravipuram BSNL office where she worked. 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. 

Rehana Fathima is one of the women who made an abortive attempt to enter Sabarimala on October 19. While she was making the trek up the hill, her house in Ernakulam had been attacked and vandalised by right-wing protesters. Three days after her climb, she was transferred from the BSNL office in Kochi to one in Ravipuram, where she was given a role that would require no face-to-face contact with customers. 


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