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BSNL transfers activist who tried to enter Sabarimala temple

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 24, 2018 16:34 IST

IMAGE: Activist Rehana Fathima being escorted by the police to the hill shrine. Photograph: PTI Photo

Activist Rehana Fathima, a Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited employee who had made an attempt to enter the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala, has been transferred to the Palarivattom telephone exchange Kochi where public contact is not required, sources said.

Fathima, a telecom technician working in the customer relations section at the Boat Jetty branch in Kochi, was on Tuesday transferred to the telephone exchange at Palarivattom, the sources said.

However, the sources said she has not committed dereliction of duty.

Sabarimala Karma Samithi on Tuesday organised a protest march to the Palarivattom BSNL office, seeking her expulsion.


The Kerala Muslim Jama'ath Council had expelled Fathima from the Muslim community for 'hurting sentiments of lakhs of Hindu devotees'.

The activist's house was allegedly vandalised by unidentified people while she was away trying to climb the holy hills on Friday last.

She made a failed attempt to reach the temple with heavy police protection.

The attackers reached Fathima's house in Panambilly Nagar in Kochi while she was climbing the hills.

Fathima, a model and activist who was part of the 'Kiss of Love' movement in Kochi in 2014 against alleged moral policing, was among the two women who had reached the hilltop, but had to return before reaching the sanctum sanctorum following massive protests by Ayyappa devotees.

A mother of two, the activist had kicked up a row last year by posing for photos topless with watermelons to protest against a Kozhikode-based college professor's statement comparing women's breasts to watermelons.

A case has been registered by police in Pathanamthitta against the activist for hurting religious sentiments.

On September 28, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by then chief justice Dipak Misra had lifted the centuries-old ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine, but a section of devotees has been protesting the decision.

The Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the Lord Ayyappa temple, on Wednesday decide against filing a report in the Supreme Court on the situation prevailing in Sabarimala.

The board also said filing a review petition against the top court verdict right now has no relevance.

TDB member K P Sankara Das said the board would file a report only if the apex court asked for it.

The board had earlier said it would file a report in the top court on the tense situation in Sabarimala.

Meanwhile, hardening its stand against the entry of women into the shrine, the erstwhile Pandalam royal family on Wednesday said it was not prepared for any compromise as regards the ancient rituals and traditions of the Ayyappa temple.

Speaking to reporters at Pandalam, royal family representative Sasikumar Varma rejected the Kerala governments' contention that the TDB was the custodian of the temple and said it was ‘wrong’.

"The temple is of the devotees," he said, adding, "If there is any violation of the customs and traditions, they have the right to question the same."

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