TODAY -

Irom Sharmila invites Anna Hazare to anti-AFSPA campaign
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 30 2011: The people of Manipur would welcome Anna Hazare with open arms if he can come here and join the campaign against Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, stated Irom Chanu Sharmila who has been fasting against the draconian Act for the last 10 years.

Sharmila was produced before the Court of CJM Imphal East at Lamphelpat today.

Speaking to media persons at the Court complex, Sharmila lauded the democratic agitation undertaken by Anna Hazare against corruption in India.

Anna Hazare would be most appreciated by the people of Manipur if he can come here and support the campaign against AFSPA.

"If we believe in God, the judgement of God would be upon us every soon", Sharmila said.

"If he (Anna Hazare) would like to come to Manipur and visit me, that would be very nice of him", Sharmila said while inviting Anna to help repeal AFSPA from Manipur and other North Eastern States.

She also sought intervention of the United Nations against discrimination by the Government of India.



Irom Sharmila being brought to the CJM court where she spoke to media persons
Sharmila being brought to the CJM court where she spoke to media persons


Sharmila compared Chief Minister O Ibobi to a broad day light robber.

After a few days of fasting, Anna Hazare has achieved his mission because of the active support given by political leaders of the country.

However, in Manipur, Chief Minister O Ibobi has been retaining the draconian Act in large parts of the State though it has been repealed from the Imphal Municipal area, just to pacify the forceful mass movement of 2004 .

"This is not acceptable", Sharmila stated.

She also lamented that the Chief Minister did not bother to visit her when he came to visit one of his relatives at JN Hospital who is undergoing treatment in the hospital.

Sharmila's elder brother, Irom Singhajit informed that Anna Hazare has been invited to Manipur.

Saying that Anna Hazare's campaign was against corruption while her sister's unsurpassed campaign was for Right to Life, Singhajit pointed out the difference between the two campaigns.

He asserted that the two issues cannot be compared using any yardstick.

Whereas Anna Hazare's campaign was given extensive coverage by almost all national media houses, Sharmila's 10 year old crusade was reflected very little in national media.

The whole country was rocked when Anna Hazare fasted for a few days and the issue was duly tabled in the Parliament.

But during the last 11 years, no one came out to take up Sharmila's case in the Parliament.

This is open discrimination and marginalisation of Manipuris by mainstream Indian politics.

Except for the few political leaders, all the people of Manipur are solidly behind Sharmila's campaign to repeal AFSPA from the State, said Singhajit.

He further claimed that a special correspondent of the New York Times would be arriving here to collection information about Sharmila and her unprecedented campaign.


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