Udayavni Special

Rehana Fathima moves court for anticipatory bail


PTI, Jun 26, 2020, 9:00 PM IST

Kochi: Controversial activist Rehana Fathima on Friday moved the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail, apprehending arrest in cases against her for allegedly circulating a video in which she was seen posing semi-nude for her minor children, allowing them to paint on her body.

In her bail plea, the activist said the allegations prima facie would not constitute any offence punishable which are non-bailable in nature.

Stating that she was an activist who has been fighting a battle against body discrimination, the petitioner urged that there needs to be openness so far as discussion on body and body parts are concerned.

So far as children are concerned, they need to be imparted sex education and made aware of the body and its parts as well enabling them to view it as a different medium altogether rather than seeing it as a sexual tool alone, the petitioner said.

The allegation of the prosecution and the public outcry on the issue cannot be a reason and logic for instituting a crime and prosecuting a person for the offence, the petitioner submitted.

Fathima moved the court seeking anticipatory bail, a day after a search was carried out at her residence here and her mobile phone and laptop were seized by police in connection with the video.

A case was registered by Kochi city police under various sections of POCSO Act and IT Act based on a report filed by Cyberdom, the cyber wing of Kerala police, against her for posting the video titled “Body and Politics” on social media.

Earlier, the woman was also booked by police in Pathanamthitta district under the Information Technology Act and the Juvenile Justice Act on a complaint lodged by BJP OBC Morcha leader A V Arun Prakash.

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has sought a report on the matter from Pathanamthitta district police chief within 10 days.

The commission has also directed the police to register a case against the woman under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

After the Supreme Court allowed women in traditionally barred age groups of 10-50 into the Sabarimala temple in September 2018, Fathima made an attempt to enter the hill shrine, but had to retreat following protests by Hindu activists and devotees.

She was later arrested.

Following an internal inquiry, Fathima was sacked from employment by the BSNL in May this year for her “intentional act of outraging the religious feelings of devotees through social media posts.

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