Activist and BSNL employee Rehana Fathima, who had earlier been in the news for her bid to enter Sabarimala temple, was on Tuesday arrested by the Pathanamthitta police from Kochi on charges of hurting religious sentiments through posts in the social media.
A team led by Pathanamthitta Circle Inspector G Sunilkumar arrested her, around 1 pm, from the premises of the BSNL office, Palarivattom, Kochi, where she is working. The police officers summoned her outside the office and took her into custody. Later she was taken to Pathanamthitta.
Earlier, the Pathanamthitta police had registered a case against Fathima, who attempted to trek Sabarimala, following complaints by the BJP and Sabarimala Samrakshana Samiti.
Rehana had posted a photograph on Facebook dressed up as an Ayyappa devotee wearing black. The complainants alleged that her act had hurt their religious sentiments. Following that, 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).
According to Pathanamthitta Circle Inspector G Sunilkumar, she will be produced before the court after completing the procedures. Following the arrest, Rehana was suspended from service pending inquiry, according to BSNL authorities.
Rehana Fathima had hit the headlines as she was one among the women who attempted to enter the Sabarimala temple to offer prayers when the temple opened for the monthly pooja in October. Rehana was given special protection by policemen headed by IG S Sreejith and was escorted till the nadapanthal, a few metres away from the shrine. However, she had to give up her bid and return following stringent protests. After a controversy stirred up, the BSNL had transferred Rehana, who was employed at BSNL’s Kochi boat jetty branch as a telecom technician.
Meanwhile, two persons had attacked the quarters where she was staying in Kochi. The window panes were shattered and a gas cylinder and flower pots were thrown on to the road in front of the house. There was no one present in the house at the time of the attack.
The High Court had dismissed the anticipatory bail plea filed by her on November 16. Meanwhile, there were reports that she was out of the state and the sleuths picked her up after receiving information that she had returned to Kochi.