BSNL asks ex-employee Rehana Fathima to vacate quarters for 'tarnishing firm's image'

BSNL cited the recent police raid on Rehana Fathima’s house and registration of a case over the controversial video posted by her on social media.
Rehana Fathima
Rehana Fathima
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BSNL has served a notice asking its former employee and activist Rehana Fathima to vacate from its residential quarters in Kochi, citing the recent police raid on her house and registration of a case over a video posted by her on social media with Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) charges.

The police action has 'tarnished' its image, the state-owned telecom major said.

Rehana Fathima, who made a vain bid to enter the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in 2018, was booked last week after she posed semi-nude in front of her minor children, allowing them to paint on her bare body and sharing the video on social media.

Police on June 25 had carried out a search at her house in the BSNL quarters at Panampilly Nagar as part of the probe in the case registered under various sections of POCSO Act and the IT Act by the city police. But she was found missing. 

The POCSO charges were added based on a report filed by Cyberdom, the cyber wing of Kerala police, for posting an "offensive" video titled "Body and Politics" on social media.

"The above event tarnished the image of BSNL. Hence you are instructed to vacate the quarters within 30 days from the date of receipt of this notice, failing which further proceedings will be initiated for eviction", said the June 27 notice, copy of which has been made available to the media.

As she ceased to be a BSNL employee, Fathima was ineligible to occupy the company quarters, it said.

Fathima was sacked from employment by the BSNL in May this year citing that she intentionally outraged religious feelings of devotees through social media posts.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had earlier sought a report from police on the video matter and had asked police to check whether the issue amounts to sexual harassment of children and violation of the POCSO Act.

The activist had last week moved the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail, apprehending arrest in the POCSO case.

After the Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple in September 2018, Fathima made an attempt to enter the hill shrine, but had to retreat following protests by a section of devotees.

Watch Rehana Fathima's reaction after trying to visit Sabarimala temple:

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