Imphal: Supporters of Manipur`s `Iron Lady`
Irom Sharmila, who has been on hunger strike for the last 11
years demanding withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers
Act (AFSPA) from the state, are inspired by how Anna Hazare
steered his anti-corruption campaign to success by fasting for
only 12 days.
"It has been an inspiration for us. We have realised that
if our movement is more organised and we manage to garner a
pan-India support, the government would be bound to listen to
us," Sharmila`s long-time associate Babloo Loitongbam told PTI
However, Loitongbam admitted that theirs is a much more
difficult fight than Hazare`s.
Sharmila`s elder brother Irom Singhajit, who has now
turned into a human rights activist, also admitted that their
struggle against the `draconian` AFSPA has got new motivation
from Hazare`s crusade against corruption.
"His movement shows that Parliament also listens to the
voice of people. So this is the right time to strengthen
ourselves and make our voices heard," he said.
Singhajit said they have realised is that there must be a
political platform to voice concern about the AFSPA.
However, he clarified, "That doesn`t mean we will support
any particular political party."
Babloo, who leads Manipur`s Human Rights Alert and the
Just Peace Foundation, said they are looking to broaden their