'Iron Lady' Irom Chanu Sharmila ends epic fast against AFSPA, aspires to be Manipur CM
'Iron Lady' Irom Chanu Sharmila, who ended her epic 16-year-long fast, said on Tuesday that she wants to become the Chief Minister of Manipur and remove the draconian AFSPA act.
Imphal:'Iron Lady' Irom Chanu Sharmila, who ended her epic 16-year-long fast on Tuesday, said that she wants to become the Chief Minister of Manipur and remove the draconian AFSPA act.
“I have been fasting for 16 years and not got anything from it. I want to try different agitation now - one that will see me contest against the Chief Minister of the State,” Sharmila said.
Sharmila has been campaigning against AFSPA, which provides special powers to handle insurgents in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir also.
A tweet from the government-run Doordarshan News confirmed that she had ended her fast.
— Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) August 9, 2016
A frail looking Irom Sharmila was earlier taken to a local court from Imphal hospital where she had been lodged as a prisoner for 16 years.
Sharmila reached the court in an ambulance and amid tight security. After reaching there, Sharmila told court about her decision to end fast and urged it to expedite the process for her release.
The court agreed to set her free and asked her to submit a bond. Sharmila, who had initially refused to sign a bond, later signed a bail bond of Rs 10,000 after which she was formally set free.
This was confirmed by her lawyer who said, ''Irom Sharmila has been released on Rs 10,000 personal bond. She will be examined in court again on August 23.''
The 44-year-old iconic rights activist was forcibly fed through a nasal tube since 2000 to keep her alive at a prison-turned-hospital here.
"She was produced before a judicial magistrate today after which she will be released from judicial custody," her brother Irom Singhajit had said earlier.
Imphal (Manipur): Irom Sharmila to break her fast today, leaves for court. pic.twitter.com/FYhpRJA6Y1
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 9, 2016
A large number of her supporters and women activists under the forum of Sharmila Kunba Lup will be meeting her as she starts her new journey. However, Sharmila's 84-year-old mother Shakhi Devi is not likely to meet her.
"She will not go there to meet her. She is waiting for the moment of her victory which will come only when AFSPA is repealed," Singhajit, who will be present at the courtroom today, said.
The family and her supporters, who have not been able to meet her since July 26 when she announced her decision to end her fast and enter politics to ensure that AFSPA is repealed through political means, have no idea where she is going to stay from now on.
Local activist Kshetrimayum Onil, who has been associated with Sharmila for a long time, said they tried many times but failed to meet her to discuss the future strategy on AFSPA.
Her brother also said he is waiting to meet Sharmila today to discuss future strategies.
Doctors attending Sharmila said that she might have to be kept on a liquid diet for the next few days as her body might not be able to digest solid food all of a sudden.
"Her condition is okay as she has been getting all nutrients. She can walk also," Dr Laishram Deben, director of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital, told PTI.
Sharmila's struggle has been the nucleus of all protests against AFSPA in Manipur and the neighbouring north-eastern states.
On November 2, 2000, an Assam Rifles battalion had allegedly killed 10 civilians in a village near Imphal. Three days later, Sharmila embarked on her fast demanding revocation of AFSPA, which allows security men to even kill a person on suspicion without the fear of facing a trial in court.