Brief respite: Sunny days beckon Irom Sharmila

Brief respite: Sunny days beckon Irom Sharmila

Last week an Imphal court asked the Manipur government to ensure that Sharmila who is lodged in a special cabin of the Jawahar Lal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal be brought out regularly for at least 30 minutes for sun bathing to ensure her better health.

In her epic struggle of over 15 years against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Manipur’s Irom Sharmila Chanu perhaps for the first time saw the judiciary to be lenient on her. She has been kept in the hospital under judicial custody.

In a recent order, the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Imphal West, A Noutuneshwari Devi taking consideration of the ailing health of Sharmila, who is on a hunger strike for over 15 years and is force fed through her nose, has ordered that she should be brought out for 30 minutes at least.

The Manipur government in compliance with the order pronounced on November 4, has started to move Sharmila out of her secluded cabin in the hospital to the courtyard for 30 minutes. Manipur central jail sources added that, it has been decided that in most of the days Sharmila would be taken out from 11:30 am.

“We welcome this order by the court. The 15 years of struggle has taken a massive toll on Sharmila’s heath. Doctors have been asking her to be taken out sometime. She has already decided to keep her struggle on until her core demand of repeal of AFSPA is met” said Irom Singhajit, Sharmil’s brother over telephone from Imphal.

While the jail staff would be present every time she would be brought out , the state home department has asked the SP of Imphal East district to arrange for her security as well since many people including her supporters and journalist might try to sneak into the hospital premises to meet her, sources from Imphal added.

Right now, one needs a special permission from Manipur government to meet Sharmila.

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