In a social media post, Deepak Pavithram allegedly mocked Ayyappa and said the deity could now choose which age group of women he prefers.

Lulu group in Saudi fires Kerala expat for derogatory remarks on Sabarimala rowFacebook/Deepak Pavithran
news Sabarimala Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 14:19

It looks like expats in the Middle East are learning it the hard way that they should not make or post any derogatory comments on social media, especially on a sensitive issue. After an instance of termination earlier this year, Lulu Group has fired another Indian employee for making insensitive comments on the on-going Sabarimala row, on Tuesday. The man, identified as Deepak Pavithram, is a native of Kerala and was working with Lulu Hypermarket in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  

Though Deepak has deleted his post, screenshots of the message have been doing the rounds on social media platforms. According to the screenshot, Deepak allegedly mocked Sabarimala’s main deity Ayyappa, saying that he can choose which age group of women he prefers as all age groups will be allowed in the temple now.

Many people objected to the comment amid the growing tension in Sabarimala, Nilakkal and Pamba in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district.

“We have a strict and zero tolerance policy with regard to our staff misusing social media to spread malicious or derogatory comments which might hurt religious sentiments. All GCC nations are home to a large cosmopolitan population from almost all countries in the world and we respect their sentiments, culture and religious beliefs," V Nandakumar, Chief Communications Officer of Lulu Group, told Khaleej Times.

Some also took to social media to express their appreciation for MA Yusuff Ali, the chairman and managing director of Lulu Group, for taking people who make insensitive and derogatory remarks to task, the report added.

In August, a man from Kerala was fired from his job at the Lulu Group after he made offensive comments on social media over the rescue and relief efforts that were underway in the flood-hit state. Rahul Cheru Palayattu, who worked as a cashier at Lulu Hypermarket in Muscat, was responding to a social media post where someone had asked if sanitary napkins were required. To this, Rahul replied, asking if they required condoms.

Similarly, in June, Krishnakumaran Nair, a Malayali working in Dubai was sacked from his job after he went live on Facebook threatening to kill Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

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