Not allowed to meet Sharmila, says family

Not allowed to meet Sharmila, says family

Not allowed to meet Sharmila, says family

Family members of Manipur’s iconic human rights crusader Irom Sharmila Chanu on Friday said that they were not allowed to meet her at the JNIMS in Imphal.

Though Sharmila is out on bail, one needs special permission of the hospital authorities to meet her for ‘security reasons’. Sharmila’s family had claimed that they were ‘harassed’ by the security personnel.

“This morning around 11 am, I, along with my elder sister Baijenyanti Devi, took my 84-year-old mother Sakhi Devi to the hospital. We had applied for permission and were verbally granted as the authorities were busy in regular rounds. We took our mother near Sharmila’s room. Initially, the security personnel allowed us to enter. As we left our mother near Sharmila and came out, another group of security personnel came in and asked us to leave,” said Irom Singhajit, Sharmila’s brother, over phone from Imphal.

Sharmila and her mother were in tears to see and hug each other after 16 long years. Sharmila had left home and started her hunger strike against AFSPA in 2000.

Sharmila had told media on August 9, the day when she broke her fast, that she will meet her mother only after she achieves her goal of repealing AFSPA from Manipur.

“There were a lot of reports in national newspapers that we have dumped her. This is not true. When our mother got to know about this, we decided that we will meet her and welcome her home as we always wanted her to return. But we were stopped. There is some design to keep her away from her family,” Singhajit further said.

Only after they returned home, Singhajit reportedly got a call from the hospital saying that the permission to meet Sharmila has been ‘granted’.

DH could not, however, independently verify the claims of Sharmila’s family since repeated attempts to contact the hospital authorities went unanswered. Sharmila will be produced at the CJM court in Imphal on August 23.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox