August 31st, 2011
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Irom Sharmila seeks Hazare’s help

irom sharmilaManipur: Manipuri social activist Irom Sharmila who has been on an indefinite fast for nearly 11 years, demanding the repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958  has urged Anna Hazare the anti-corruption crusader to support her cause.

Hoping that Mr. Hazare would visit Imphal to support her struggle, Ms. Sharmila, ‘Iron lady of Manipur’ said the Gandhian could achieve his goal because he had immense people support. “I will ultimately become triumphant in my struggle as, I believe, God will certainly find ways to fulfill my dreams,” the 37-year-old Sharmila, who has been force-fed through a nasal drip for a decade by the authorities, told reporters in Imphal.

Irom Sharmila is produced in court every 15 days for extension of her judicial remand for being force-fed after which she is sent to a hospital ward which has been converted into a jail.

Irom began her fast on November 4, 2000, after she witnesses the encounter killings of 10 people by Assam Rifles. Under the provisions of the AFSPA, a non-commissioned officer or of equivalent rank of the security forces could arrest without a warrant and shoot a suspect, even causing death, in a disturbed area, while enjoying legal immunity for their actions.

Official sources said hundreds of people have been killed in insurgency-related incidents after the enforcement of the AFSPA on September 8, 1980. They said over 20 militant outfits including seven major ones operate in Manipur with some fighting for an ’independent Manipur’.


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