TODAY -
Relay hunger strike begins
Save Sharmila movement

Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, December 10 2008: LIKE ELSEWHERE in other part of the globe, Manipur also joint in the observance of the International Human Rights Day, commemorating the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations today. An indefinite hunger rally hunger strike showing solidarity to Irom Sharmila, the Iron lady of Manipur who was been fasting unto-death for the last eight-years has also kicked off today at Porompat PDA complex, Imphal by a group of women under the banner of the Sharmila Kanba Lup, a body imparting moral support to Sharmila. Meanwhile, a rally of a group of women under the banner of the All Manipur Nupi Marup in Imphal city foiled by the police when they tried to proceed to the silent zone area Raj Bhavan and Chief Minister's Bungalow demanding passing of 33.33% Women Reservation Bill in the Parliament. Today, with a voice to save Sharmila and marking the occasion International Human Rights Day, a total of 71 women have started launching indefinite 24-hour relay hunger-strike from 10 am at Porompat, PDA complex in Imphal east.

The hunger-strike will be staged in rotation basis by 60 women from different parts of the state, according to the organizers, Sharmla Kanba Lup.

Leaders of Meiraa Paaibi associations embarking on a relay hunger strike to save Irom Chanu Sharmila


"We will continue our stir batch by batch by 60 women till government responded to our call for repeal of Armed Forces Special Power Act 1958 and save our daughter Sharmila," said Taruni, the convener of the Sharmila Kanba Lup in an interaction with this correspondent at the protest site.

She also claimed that they got support from various women organizations across the state and assured to extend support by participating in the hunger-strike by spearing one day in the coming days.

The co-convener of the body, Janaki said, "If government remained silent even though during the hunger-strike continue, we are planning to launch more effective and intensified forms of agitations in the near future." However, she did not specify the forms of agitation they are going to launch.

They women leaders also condemned government remaining silent for such a long time of eight-year without any positive action to save Sharmila and asked whether it's not the time to take up positive action to save her by the government.

They also called upon the other civil organizations to the lend support stating that "time has arrived to up by all section of the society and press the government to repeal AFSPA.

Meanwhile, as a part of observance of the day today, hundreds of women under the banner of the All Manipur Nupi Marup rallied in Imphal with a demand for passing of the 33.33% Women Reservation Bill in the Winter Session of the Parliament.

However, when the rally kicked from Kwai Ema (Women) Market and proceeded towards the Raj Bhavan side, police stopped them at the western gate of Kangla fort and prevented from further proceeding but three representatives were allow to go with the police and allow to submit a copy of the memorandum which forwarded to the Prime Minister of India to the chief minister secretariat.

State chief minister, O Ibobi is out of station in Imphal currently.

The women body has faxed the memorandum to the Prime Minister of India this after which another same copy forwarded to the Speaker of the Lok Shabha demanding passing of the women reserved bill in the Parliament in the coming Winter Session, said M Shakhi, secretary of the All Manipur Nupi Marup.

She said the memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister is as per the resolution passed in the 18th National Congress of the National Federation of Indian Women held in Patna from November 26 to 28 this year.

Expressing concerned over the future of the Women's Reservation Bill, the women conference has drafted a resolution to press the government at the Centre to pass the same which the UPA government did at last tabled in the Rajya Sabha on its last day on May 6, 2008, she said.

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