The review petition to obtain police custody of Rehana Fathima will be heard on Wednesday.

Kerala activist Rehana Fathimas bail rejected
news Sabarimala Tuesday, December 04, 2018 - 18:17

The principal sessions court of Pathanamthitta on Tuesday denied bail to activist Rehana Fathima, who was arrested by Pathanamthitta police on November 27 for her Facebook post, which allegedly hurt the sentiments of the Ayyappa devotees. Rehana, who attempted to enter Sabarimala in October, was arrested from Kochi and taken to Pathanamthitta town police station.

Confirming this to TNM, Pathanamthitta Circle Inspector Sunil Kumar said, “We had initially submitted an application for police custody at the Pathanamthitta Magistrate Court. However, it was rejected. Since the ground for demanding Rehana’s custody was not right, we submitted a review petition, which will be heard on Wednesday.”

Soon after her arrest last Tuesday, BSNL suspended Rehana Fathima, who worked as a junior engineer there. The Public Relations Officer of BSNL had told TNM that she will remain suspended until further investigations.

Incidentally, on November 15, the Kerala High Court had rejected Rehana's anticipatory bail plea. On October 30, Rehana moved the Kerala HC seeking anticipatory bail after the Pathanamthitta police filed a case against her on October 22 for putting up social media posts that are allegedly communally divisive in nature. The High Court had further instructed the Kerala police to go ahead with necessary action against the activist, according to reports.

The case was registered following a complaint filed by the Sabarimala Samrakshana Samithi, which alleged that her social media posts have hurt their religious sentiments. In one of the photos that Rehana had posted on her Facebook page on September 30, she is seen dressed as an Ayyappa devotee, wearing a rudraksha and sporting a patta, with the caption 'Thathvamasi'.

A case was registered under IPC section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).

Speaking to the media gathered outside the Pathanamthitta police station soon after her arrest, she said, “It is the so-called brahmacharis who have been so disturbed by the sight of a woman’s bare leg.” This was a direct reference to the photograph she has reportedly been arrested for posting, which depicted her dressed as an Ayyappa devotee and seated in a position where a length of her leg was visible.

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