Anticipatory Bail to Activist Rehna Fathima who attempted to make entry to Sabarimala was refused by Kerala High Court.

Anticipatory Bail to activist Rehna Fathima was dismissed who tried to make entry into Sabarimala. The temple of Lord Ayyappa Shrine was opened only for festive celebration in month of October after the order of Supreme Court allowing entry of women within limited age group of 10 – 50.

The FIR was filed by Pathanamthitta Police under section 295 of Indian Penal Code for outraging religious feelings based on Facebook posts. The complaint was filed by Radhakrishna Menon following certain pictures uploaded on Facebook in which she was clad in customary attire devotees, which were provocative and hurtful.

Anticipating arrest, she moved the high court seeking anticipatory bail. She contended that she believed in the system of “advaita” and had observed “vrutham” to visit Sabarimala. …

She further contended that her attempt to visit the hilltop shrine was out of faith and not to provoke sentiments. She had also posted that Sabarimala was not a Hindu temple and Lord Ayyappa was not a Hindu. …

Another picture uploaded by her depicted Lord Ayyappa with a red ribbon across legs, which was being cut by a woman with scissors….

Fathima, who was also 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 due to massive protests by Ayyappa devotees.

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.”

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