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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

UNSUNG-KARMAYOGINI-Irom Chanu Sharmila: ‘Iron Lady’ completes 10 years of hunger strike!

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Irom Chanu Sharmila, the Manipur-based poet and activist is entering her eleventh year on hunger strike, demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from Manipur and other Northeastern States.

Imphal, November 2 (Agencies): Manipur rights activist Irom Sharmila Tuesday completed 10 years of her hunger strike to protest alleged rights violations by security forces, but still refused to break the fast.

Sharmila, who earned the sobriquet 'Iron Lady of Manipur', launched an indefinite hunger strike Nov 2, 2000 after she was witness to the killing of 10 people by the army at a bus stop near her home in Malom, a village on the outskirts of capital Imphal, the day before.

Three days into the hunger strike, police arrested her on charges of attempted suicide, sent her to a prison hospital and put her on nasal drip. She is now lodged at an isolated cabin at the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital here.

Sharmila is campaigning for the repeal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) that provides unlimited powers to the security forces to shoot on sight and arrest anybody without a warrant.

At 38, she looks frail and emaciated, but the resolve in her eyes and intent to continue with her campaign has become even stronger.

There are two ways how modern-day Despotic governments deal with the "Gandhians", in India:  keep alive for decades as they have been doing with Irom Chanu Sharmila OR allow them to die, unsung, the way they did with Swamy Nigmanand, who fasted for a cleaner and completely pollution free Ganga River [].

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