Manipur’s 'iron lady' Irom Chanu Sharmila’s fast unto death agitation demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act,1958 (AFSPA) from the state has completed 9 years on Wednesday.
Thirty seven year old Sharmila of Kongba in Imphal east district could not accept the gunning down of 10 civilians by 8 Assam Rilfles soldiers near Malom village on November 2,2000. She is in judicial custody since the day she was picked up two days later. She is being force-fed by doctors and nurses with the help of a nasal tube as she refuses to take food. She is freed every year before being detained again, as her prison term runs out.
She has been arrested nine times for now. She is a present lodged in the security ward of the JN Hospital near here.
Mahosweta Devi, Magsaysay award winner and a doyen of Indian literature, participated in a sit in organised by Sharmila Kanba Lup, a women organisation, to save Charu Sharmila on Wednesday. She also inaugurated a five day statewide campaign on festival of hope, justice and peace to commemorate the hunger protest by Sharmila, known as the Iron lady of Manipur and released a book entitled 'Burning bright' by Dipti Priya. The book details the life and times of Sharmila.