Sabarimala row: Activist Rehana Fatima’s anticipatory bail plea rejected
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 16: The Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of woman activist Rehana Fatima, who tried to visit Sabarimala Temple under police protection but was stopped a short distance away in October.
Fatima had to turn back and return after the head priest of the shrine threatened to shut down the shrine and stop prayers on October 19. Fatima was among the two women who had reached the hilltop but had to return before reaching the sanctum sanctorum following massive protests.
Police have registered a case against the activist for hurting religious sentiments.
Earlier the Kerala Muslim Jama'ath Council had expelled Fatima from the Muslim community for "hurting sentiments of lakhs of Hindu devotees".
On October 19, over a hundred cops led by Inspector General S Sreejith had given two women - Fatima and journalist Kavitha Jakkal - a security cover and escorted them along the trek to the shrine. But when head priest issued a threat, Sreejith reportedly spoke to these women and convinced them to return.
"People, not the devotees, who want to disrupt peace didn't allow us to enter. I want to know what was the reason. 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," Fatima had told the media on Oct 19.
Fatima's house in Kochi was also ransacked after it came on news that she was enroute Sabarimala Temple where the entry of women is banned.
There is a prohibition on entry of women aged betwee 10-50 into the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala. This practice is being followed for hundreds of years. The Supreme Court on Septembet 28 struck down this practice and ruled that women of all ages be allowed enter the temple. After this there was a massive protest in Kerala over this and many women expressed their willingness to enter the shrine to which the devotees have vehemantly opposed.