Court orders Irom Sharmila's release, she continues her fast

Last Updated 13 March 2013, 09:47 IST

A local court has ordered release of social activist Irom Sharmila Chanu, who has been on fast for more than 12 years demanding repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Manipur.

First Class Judicial Magistrate (Imphal East) yesterday ordered release of Irom Sharmila, who was arrested on charges of attempt to commit suicide.

After the court's order, the police released Sharmila from the J N I Medical Science and Hospital (JNIMSH) where she was kept and fed through nose.

Sharmila after her release yesterday afternoon went straight to the office of the Sharmila Kanba Lup (Save Sharmila Office) near JNIMSH and continued with her fast, police sources said today.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Sharmila expressed her disappointment over the recent charge of attempt to commit suicide at a recent hearing at a New Delhi's Patiala court.

"I am only protesting to repeal AFSPA and following Gandhi's principle. My fight is against the atrocities committed by the army personnel (security personnel) acting under the power of the AFSPA," she said.

"AFSPA has been imposed in the state in the name of controlling militancy but instead of controlling it, the army personnel are harassing the general public," she said.

"The Centre has imposed this Act only to suppress the people of the state," she alleged and said she would continue her hunger strike protest till the repeal of this Act.

Appealing for support from the people in her 'movement', Sharmila said "if she dies in the course of her struggle, she wish not to be born in this place (Manipur) again."

Sharmila's brother and her spokesperson Irom Singhajit, who was at her side, said she was arrested on the charges of attempt to commit suicide. "She will be arrested by the police again, like they always do for the past 12 years," he claimed.

(Published 13 March 2013, 09:47 IST)

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