A case has been registered against Ernakulam-based activist Rehana Fathima at the Pathanamthitta police station for putting up social media posts that are allegedly communally divisive in nature.
“A case has been registered under IPC section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs),” Pathanamthitta CI Sunil Kumar confirmed to TNM.
“The complaint was directly handed over to the District Police Chief of Pathanamthitta by the Sabarimala Samrakshana Samiti secretary P Padmakumar,” an official at DCP office told TNM.
Rehana Fathima hit headlines as she was one of the six women who tried to enter the Sabarimala sanctum to offer her prayers to the deity. Rehana was given special protection by policemen who escorted her till the Nadapanthal, 500 metres away from the shrine. She was dressed like Ayyappa, in black clothes, carrying the irumudikettu (the two-layered sacred bundle without which devotees cannot enter the temple). Her partner, Manoj Sreedhar, said that she had observed a 21-day fast as per the customs and practices.
However, due to massive protests by devotees and priests and threats from the tantri to shut down the temple if women enter, she had to return from the temple without praying.
Rehana’s house in Ernakulam was later vandalised by people as news spread that she attempted to enter the temple. Rehana's house, located near the BSNL quarters in Ernakulam, was vandalised. A BSNL employee, Rehana stays with her partner Manoj, who also accompanied her to the temple.
She and her family have also been expelled from the Muslim community by the Kerala Muslim Jama’th Council. “The Council has also directed the Ernakulam Central Muslim Jama’ath to expel her and her family from the membership of Mahallu,” a statement by Council president A Pookunju said. The Council also expressed their displeasure over Rehana's participation in the 'kiss of love’ agitation in 2014 and for “acting in a film, nude.”
The statement added that she should not be allowed to use a Muslim name and asked the state government to file a case against her under section 153A of the IPC for inciting communal hatred.