Thiruvananthapuram: Activist Rehana Fathima was arrested on Tuesday by the Pathanamthitta police on the charges of hurting religious sentiments with a Facebook post, over a month after she was forced to abort her attempt to enter the Sabarimala temple in the face of violent protests.
Fathima was arrested from her house in Kochi and is currently being taken to the Pathanamthitta town police station for questioning, officials said.
A case was registered against her for putting up “communally divisive” social media posts on October 22, three days after her failed attempt to enter Sabarimala.
She had posted a photo of herself on her Facebook page on September 30, dressed as an Ayyappa devotee wearing a rudraksha and sporting a patta, with the caption 'Tatvamasi'. The case was registered following a complaint filed by the Sabarimala Samrakshana Samithi alleging that her posts hurt religious sentiments of Ayyappa devottees.
She has been booked under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs). Earlier this month, the Kerala High Court had rejected the anticipatory bail plea of the activist and asked the police to take whatever necessary action it deemed fit.
Fathima, a model and activist who was part of "Kiss of Love" movement in Kochi in 2014 against alleged moral policing, was among the two women who had reached the hilltop on October 19 but had to return before reaching the sanctum sanctorum following massive protests by Ayyappa devotees. The head priest threatened to shut down the shrine and stop prayers.
Earlier, the Kerala Muslim Jama'ath Council had also expelled her from the Muslim community for "hurting sentiments of lakhs of Hindu devotees".
“People, not the devotees, who want to disrupt peace didn't allow us to enter. I want to know what the reason was. Tell me, in which way one needs to be a devotee. You tell me that first and then I will tell you if I'm a devotee or not," Fathima had said at the time.
Fathima's house in Kochi was also ransacked after it came on news that she was enroute Sabarimala Temple where the ban on entry of women of all ages was lifted by the Supreme Court in September.