A Delhi court on Monday framed charges against Irom Sharmila Chanu for allegedly attempting to take her life during a ‘fast until death’ in the Capital in 2006. Chanu has been fasting for nearly 12 years demanding withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Chanu told the metropolitan magistrate Akash Jain “I love life. I do not want to take my life but I want justice and peace….. I do not want to commit suicide…… It is my demand to live as a human being”.
The judge said “I respect you but the law of the land does not permit you to take your life,” and asked her counsel to make her aware of the legal implications of the ongoing case. Chanu in a grim voice refused to plead and claimed trial.
The judge said there is prima facie against her and ordered charges be framed against 40-year-old Chanu under section 309 (attempting to commit suicide) of the IPC after she refused to plead guilty, saying that it was a non-violent protest.
Putting her on trial, the court has now listed the matter for May 22 for recording of prosecution evidence in the case which was registered on October 4, 2006, while she was protesting at Jantar Mantar demanding AFSPA revocation.
During the proceedings, Chanu had a brief discussion with her counsel thereafter she said, "If AFSPA is repealed only then I will take food."
The judge, however, explained her saying "This is a political process. Here I am concerned with this case only."