Iron Lady decided to end life long Fast
Hunger striker Irom Chanu Sharmila, who has been demanding repeal of AFSPA, has decided to break her 16-year-old fast and contest election instead.
The human rights activist said she would join politics to continue her movement which she said lacks support from the public.
“I’m tired of the people’s ailing support to my struggle. I’ve decided to contest election but the agenda will be the issue of AFSPA always, she told journalists after a court appearance here on Tuesday.
The anti-AFSPA crusader said she will announce the date for ending her fast on August 9 next when she will again appear before the court of chief judicial magistrate, Imphal West.
Sharmila, also known as ‘Iron Lady‘ expressed strong displeasure against political leaders for allegedly failing to show solidarity to her movement.
She also expressed dismay over the participation by young school students in the current intensified ILP agitation spearheaded by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS).
The decision taken by Sharmila amazed the people and rights activists in the state. Human rights activist Babloo Loitongbam said he needs to confirm the surprised stance of Sharmila.
In November 2000 she began a hunger strike which is still ongoing. Having refused food and water for more than 500 weeks, she has been called “the world’s longest hunger striker”.On International Women’s Day, 2014 she was voted the top woman icon of India by MSN Poll.
The 43-year-old activist started her fast from November 2, 2000 after the massacre of 10 ‘innocent civilians’ by the Assam Rifles at Malom in Imphal.
In 2014 two parties asked her to contest in the national election, but she declined. She was then denied the right to vote as a person confined in jail cannot vote according to law. On August 19, 2014 a court ordered her release from custody, subject to there being no other grounds for detention. She was re-arrested on August 22, 2014 on similar charges to those for which she was acquitted, and remanded in judicial custody for 15 days.