TODAY -
Save Sharmila movement completes 6 months
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Imphal, June 10 2009: The Sharmila Kanba Lup (Save Sharmila Movement) on Wednesday completed six full months of its relay hunger strike in a move to save the 'Iron Lady' of Manipur, Irom Chanu Sharmila, from her present status of over eight long years of hunger strike calling for the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, AFSPA, 1958 from the state.

Sharmila has been on a fast since November of the year 2000 fighting for the repeal of the draconian act in the state of Manipur.

Formed on December 9, 2008, the women oriented Lup then resolved to go on a relay hunger strike in solidarity with Sharmila until the government of Manipur comes out with a solution.

And interestingly, even as the world and Manipur celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10, a day after the formation of the movement, the Lup initiated its relay hunger strike at the PDA complex, Porompat in Imphal East district of Manipur calling on the state government to come up with a solution to Sharmila's quest for freedom of human rights.

Supported by a series of women organisations such as Manipur Tammi-Chingmi Apunba Nupi Lup, Women's Association for Civic Action, Kangleipak, Monnu Erikkhombi Lup, United Women's Front, etc.

in its initial days, the relay hunger strike of the Lup only seems to grow from strength to strength with more organisations, civil societies and NGOs lending a helping hand to their fight for human rights in Manipur.

Various known personalities were also reported to have visited them, sharing words of encouragement and support.

One such known personality was Dr.Sandeep Pandey, National co-ordinator of National Alliance for People's Movement, who also visited Sharmila on December 29 last and referred to her as the living Gandhi.

Asserting Sharmila had chosen the right democratic form of protest, he also called on the people of the state to support the 'Iron Lady' of the state.

It is also interesting to note here, the Manipur People's Party (MPP), a major political and opposition party of Manipur also visited Sharmila and extended all possible.

Associations of Independent Minds (AIMS), a major civil society of the state also visited Sharmila and opined she was declared "Champion of Human Rights".

With all these supports and encouragement, the Sharmila Kanba Lup continues to persevere in its strife calling upon the government of Manipur to save Sharmila from her present status.

As per reports, Sharmila was arrested by the state government on March 9 this year, just two days after she was released by the chief judicial magistrate of Imphal East, for the tenth time and which is seen by the public as a yearly practice of the state government on the human rights fighter of the state.

Reports also have it thatshe is being 'forcefully' nose fed at the security ward of the Jawahar Lal Nehru (JN) hospital in Imphal East district.

Hence, calling on the state government to save Sharmila from her present status, the Lup continues to sit-in-protest at the PDA complex in Imphal East on daily basis completing full six months Wednesday.


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