After a magistrate court had ordered her release from judicial custody, Manipur’s human rights activist Irom Sharmila resumed her hunger strike against the draconian Armed Force Special Powers Act (AFSPA). She has been on fast-unto-death for the past 15 years, demanding the repealing of the Act.
The 43-year-old began her non-violent protest in November 2000 after 10 people were killed by troops of the Assam Rifles near a bus stop at Malom, in the outskirt of Imphal. The troop was empowered by the AFSPA, which gives security forces sweeping powers to search and shoot on sight. The act extends to most of the North Eastern states and J& K. Human rights activists across the world condemn it for the gross violations it incite.
Speaking to media at the court complex in Imphal, Sharmila said, “Now I will continue my agitation at Saheed Minar till my goal is achieved. I still have the confidence that truth will prevail one day.” She then continued her often interrupted hunger strike at Saheed Minar, accompanied by women activists of ‘Sharmila Kanba Lup’ (Save Sharmila Committee).