New Delhi: Activist Irom Sharmila Chanu, who was Monday charged with attempting suicide for her fast unto death here in 2006 while demanding repeal of controversial AFSPA, said she is following Mahatma Gandhi`s principle of non-violence and should not be "discriminated" against.
Chanu, while speaking to mediapersons outside the court room at Patiala House complex, said she and other residents of states affected by Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) need "peace" and "not violence" and the democratic leaders should hear her "non-violent protest".
She expressed her desire "to live a normal life" and asked why the government was "scared of giving her fundamental rights of a human being".
"I am just a simple woman who wants to follow the non- violent principle of Gandhiji, the father of the nation. Just treat us also like him and do not discriminate. As a leadership, don`t be biased against a human being," the 40-year-old Manipuri activist, whose counsel had sought court`s permission to talk to media, said.
Chanu was flown in to Delhi from Manipur last evening to appear before a court here which today framed charges under section 309 (attempting to commit suicide) of the IPC against her after she refused to plead guilty, saying that hers was a non-violent protest.
She told reporters that she has been protesting for past nearly 12 years for the society and is demanding the rights of a democratic citizen.
"I am doing this for the society and other AFSPA affected states but we are the citizens of a democratic country and so my demand is for rights of a democratic citizen who needs justice. We need peace, not violence. Our democratic leaders should hear my non-violent protest," she said.
Chanu, who is in judicial custody and is being fed through a tube, added that Justice (retd) B P Jeevan Reddy Committee, set up to review the AFSPA, has also recommended repealing of this "draconian law".
She also accused the government and the Army of "colluding for cheating" people.