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Indian Activist to end 16-year Hunger Strike she embarked on to Protest against use of force by military in troubled Regions



NEW DELHI, INDIA - MARCH 3: Irom Sharmila Chanu also known as Iron Lady of Manipur arrives at IGI T3 terminal on March 3, 2013 in New Delhi, India. Sharmila is a civil rights activist who has been on hunger strike since 2000 demanding repeal Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958. She will appear in a Delhi court in connection with a case against her for attempt to suicide. (Photo by Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Chanu Sharmila

Indian rights activist Chanu Sharmila, on Tuesday promised in New Delhi to end her hunger strike of 16 years in order to run in 2017 state elections.

Abhirr VP, Amnesty International India Spokesperson, said that Sharmila, who has been fasting for past 16 years, is ending the fast on Tuesday, with the aim of trying a different agitation.

She recalled that Sharmila launched her hunger strike on November 2, 2000, to protest the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a controversial law that gives armed forces special powers of search and seizure in troubled regions.

VP said that the activist launched her protest against AFSPA after 10 civilians were killed by security forces in insurgency-hit Manipur.

She said that Sharmila, also known as “Iron Lady of Manipur” for her steadfast campaign, promised to contest the chief minister of Manipur in the upcoming state elections.

The spokeswoman said that Sharmila pledged to repeal AFSPA if she is elected.

AFSPA is usually applied to militancy-affected regions and gives Indian armed forces sweeping powers of search and seizure without warrants, allowing them to shoot to kill in some situations.

The activist said that the law has been misused by security forces.

L Rebada, Sharmila’s lawyer, said that her client would remain in judicial custody till her bail papers are cleared.

“We don’t know when the release orders will come,” Rebada said.

The lawyer disclosed that Sharmila had been taken to the Imphal hospital where she has been kept for several years and force fed through a nasal tube.

Rebada said she was arrested a few days after she started her fast on charges of attempting suicide and has been in judicial custody since then.

Photo Credit: Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

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  1. Ariere

    August 9, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Some people really are dedicated to their Course. I’m a Foodie. Renoucing Food is just unimaginable.

  2. Nkechi

    August 9, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    You never get problem for life that’s why. Na you go pronounce fast for yaself and family members.

  3. naya

    August 9, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    Am guessing its just food fast, she took water nd fruits right?
    And who was monitoring her for 16years?
    Is it even possible? Nawa ooo

    • o

      August 10, 2016 at 4:12 am

      It says she was taken to a hospital and fed through a nasal pipe. My own is how can someone be in judicial custody for so long??? So “several years” in a hospital being force fed?? SMH

  4. Miss Ghana

    August 10, 2016 at 6:24 am

    let her come and do hunger strike in nigeria. it is in her own house she will die before any hospital or judiciary will bother. una too get privilege. smdh

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