TODAY -
Sharmila released, resumes stir
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, March 07 2009: Even though Irom Sharmila has been released today on expiry of her jail term, she continued her fast at the Porompat PDA Complex where the relay hunger strike launched by the Sharmila Kanba Lup showing solidarity to her demanding removal of the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, colloquially known as the AFSPA, has been going on for the last 88 days.

Sharmila was released from the Central jail following a directive of First Class Chief Magistrate, Imphal East.

She was produced in the court today at 11 am in connection with the case filed against Sharmila, registered under IPC Section 309 at the Porompat Police Station.

She has been on strike since 2000 for the repealof AFSPA.

The Magistrate released her after hearing arguments from the government counsel represented by its Public Prosecution and legal aid counsel of Sharmila, advocate K Dhane and considering her earlier case record.

In her order, First Class Chief Magistrate, M Pemila said that the term of Sharmila for offense of Section 309 which is a bailable offence has completed.

Then Sharmila was brought back to the JN Hospital where she has been lodged by the police and after completing all procedures, released her around 5 pm today.

When she came out from the court, Sharmila told reporters that she will continue her fast agitation till the demand of repeal of the Act is fulfilled.

She further said that after freed from jail, she will meet her ailing mother.

She will be dissatisfied if her mother happens to breathe her last without meeting her.

"Like I have my own objective, my mother to have and I wanted to show that not like in other part of the globe, women are not respected by the society," she said.

As soon as she secured released from the jail, Sharmila with the womenfolk waiting her outside the security ward of the JN Hospital proceeded to the Porompat PDA Complex where relay hunger strike in solidarity to her demand carrying out and continued her fasting.

Manipur was, like many other princely states, annexed by the Indian Union in 1949 under disputed circumstances; there have been sporadic separatist movements since.

Sharmila has been on a hunger strike demanding the repeal of the AFSPA, on November 2, 2000, after soldiers of the Indian Paramilitary Assam Rifles allegedly killed ten young Meitei men in Malom.

Three days later, police arrested Sharmila on charges of "attempted suicide", suicide or attempted suicide being unlawful under Indian laws and she was later transferred to judicial custody.

To keep her alive, she was force-fed a cocktail of vitamins, minerals, laxatives, protein supplements and lentil soup through the nose with a rubber pipe.

As part of a major set of concessions, including the transfer of the Kangla Fort to the government, a long-standing demand, Irom Chanu was released on October 2, 2006, on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

She immediately made her way secretly to New Delhi, visited Gandhi's mausoleum (samadhi) at Raj Ghat as her first act after being released, and immediately recommenced her fast at the Jantar Mantar monument in Delhi.

She was immediately arrested once again and admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences' hospital (AIIMS), but her brother, Irom Singhajit Singh, has challenged the detention in the New Delhi High Court.

Also, as part of these concessions, AFSPA has been repealed for certain parts of urban Manipur.

Activists against AFSPA have rejected these concessions as inadequate and demand a complete repeal.

On November 28, 2006, Irom Chanu removed the plastic pipe inserted into her nose to force-feed her, acting against the advice of AIIMS' doctors, in order to resume her forcibly interrupted fast-unto-death demanding the complete repeal of AFSPA.

On December 2, 2006, Irom Chanu Sharmila rejected Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assurance to 'dilute' the AFSPA and announced her intention to continue until complete repeal.

In late November 2006, Iranian activist and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi visited Irom Chanu at AIIMS and announced her public support for her campaign against AFSPA.

Since then she has been meeting one year jail term only to released and re-arrest after completion of one year.

On the other hand the relay-hunger strike carrying out by the Sharmila Kanba Lup continued at PDA Complex, Porompat for the 88th day today.

The protest has been staging by the womenfolk coming up from various places.

Today also around 40 womenfolk carry out the protest.


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