New Delhi: Amid the ongoing protest over the entry of women in the Sabarimala Temple, a Muslim woman activist was expelled from the community for “hurting the sentiments of lakhs of Hindu devotees” after she tried to enter the temple complex. The Kerala Muslim Jama’ath Council issued a press statement in this regard.
Initiating action against Rehana Fathima, Kerala Muslim Jama’ath Council president A Poonkunju said in a press statement on Saturday that she had been expelled from the community. (Also Read: Sabarimala Has Its Time Honoured Rituals, Shouldn’t Interfere With Them, Says Rajinikanth)
According to the statement, the Council has also directed the Ernakulam Central Muslim Jama’ath to expel her and her family from the membership of Mahallu. Pookunju said Rehana, who had participated in ‘Kiss of Love’ agitation and acted nude in a film, “has no right to use a Muslim name”.
The activist’s house was allegedly vandalised by unidentified persons while she was away trying to climb the holy hills on Friday. She made a failed attempt to reach the temple with heavy police protection. The attackers reached Rehana’s house in Panambilly Nagar here while she was climbing the hills.
Rehana, 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.
Rehana and Hyderabad-based journalist Kavitha were taken to the hills with heavy police protection. A mother of two and employee of the BSNL, the activist had kicked up a row last year by posing for topless photos with watermelons in protest against a Kozhikode-based college professor’s statement comparing women’s breasts to watermelons.
Meanwhile, a case has been registered by police in Pathanamthitta against the activist for hurting religious sentiments. The case was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by one Radhakrishna Menon.
The Sabarimala temple complex and nearby areas including the base camps, Nilakkal and Pamba, have been witnessing high drama and tense moments since Wednesday, October 17 when the gates of the shrine were thrown open for the devotees for five-day monthly puja.
On September 28, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the 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 is protesting the decision.
The portals of Sabarimala Temple will close on October 22 after the five-day monthly puja during the Malayalam month of Thulam.
(With PTI inputs)