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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Fasting Irom faces suicide case

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 03, 2013
First Published: 22:17 IST(3/3/2013) | Last Updated: 01:23 IST(5/3/2013)

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).

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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.


Irom Sharmila, who has been on a fast for 12 years demanding the repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), arrives at the airport in New Delhi. (AFP Photo)
 

During the proceedings, Chanu had a brief discussion with her counsel thereafter she said, “If AFSPA is repealed only then I will take food.”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.”


Irom Sharmila, who has been on a fast for 12 years demanding the repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), arrives at the airport in New Delhi. (AFP Photo)
 
 
Speaking to HT senior advocate Geeta Luthra said “The attempt to suicide should be abolished because nobody tries to kill themselves without a reason. There is trauma behind such acts and it should not go unnoticed. You cannot punish an anguish heart even more. Even the apex court had a view to abolish attempt to suicide section. But anybody who abets suicide should be punished.”



Irom Sharmila after appearing in the Patiala House court in Delhi under IPC 309 (attempt to commit suicide) for fasting at Jantar Mantar in 2006. (PTI Photo)


Related stories:

Irom Sharmila completes 12 year of fast
Irom Sharmila charged for suicide attempt
Irom Sharmila's supporters protest outside Delhi court
I am following Gandhiji's principle of non-violence: Sharmila


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