Manipur activist Iron Sharmila awarded peace prize



Imphal: Social activist Iron Sharmila, who has been on fast unto death for past nine years demanding withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 from Manipur, has been awarded 'Rabindranath Tagore Peace Prize'.

The award carrying Rs 51 lakhs, a gold medal and a citation was given to Sharmila by the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM).

IIPM founder director M K Choudhury presented the prize to Sharmila at Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital here yesterday, where she is lodged and is being fed through the nose by police against her will, said sources close to Sharmila.

Hailing the social activist as a rare human rights crusader, Choudhury who was accompanied by IIPM registrar Ratna Choudhury said, "Sharmila's struggle would succeed."

Sharmila, who began fast unto death after the Assam Rifles killed 10 people at Malom village in Imphal valley in a encounter, would complete 10 years of her struggle on November 2 next, they said.

She has already been awarded many prizes by both national and international organisations in her struggle for restoration of human rights in the region, they added.

PTI