Iron Lady of Manipur, Irom Sharmila to end fast after 16 years; plans to marry, contest elections

| Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 22:35
First Published |
Irom Sharmila, Manipur, AFSPA, hunger strike, Elections, Assam Rifles

Imphal: Human rights activist Irom Sharmila is all set to break her 16-year-old fast against the imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act on August 9. Sharmila will also be contesting upcoming assembly polls in Manipur.
The 44-year-old began her fast in 2000 after Assam Rifles gunned down 10 civilians at a bus stop in Malom and has been demanding removal of AFSPA from the state.  
The activist has been confined to a room at a government hospital and is force-fed through a nasal tube. She has been arrested, tried, released and arrested again several times on the charge of trying to take her own life.
Despite her hunger strike, AFSPA continues to be in effect in many parts of northeastern India and Kashmir and gives security forces sweeping powers to search and shoot on sight. 
The act has faced severe criticism from activists who feel it leads to human right violations. 

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