TODAY -
Judicial custody for Sharmila, nose feeding on
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 07: After returning from her six-month long campaign against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act at the National capital on March 4, hunger striker Irom Chanu Sharmila has been taken under judicial custody.

Sharmila is presently being kept under nose-fed at the security ward of JN Hospital at Porompat.

Soon after landing at Imphal airport in an Indigo flight along with her elder brother Irom Shinghajit at around 9.30 am on March 4, Sharmila went straight to Nupilan complex here and demonstrated for about an hour before they gained entry inside the historic Kangla fort to offer prayers.

Sharmila, Shinghajit and Babloo Loitongbam, Executive Director of Human Rights Alert (HRA) who drove the brother-sister duo inside the fort were arrested by the police from there.


Ms Sharmila Irom being taken into Judicial custody

While Sharmila was taken to the security ward of JN Hospital at Porompat where she has been put under nose-fed, Babloo and Shinghajit were detained at Imphal police station for some time.

Later talking to mediapersons, Babloo said a writ petition would be field before the Gauhati High Court after Yaoshang (holi festival) to establish the veracity of her detention at the hospital under security cover a." We will challenge the illegal detention of Sharmila by the police before the Court after Yaoshang festival", Babloo said, adding that human rights lawyer Meihoubam Rakesh, who is the Imphal coordinator of Human Rights Law Network, might probably handle the case.

It is learnt that an FIR was lodged formally with the police yesterday and after producing her before the duty magistrate, Sharmila has been taken into judicial custody.

A frail looking Sharmila came back to her native State as the Central leaders have not heeded to her six month long campaign at the national capital since October 4 last year.

Another reason for her return, Sharmila said was the commitment given by the State political leaders to lift the Army Act during their election campaign.

"Since all the State political party leaders have given their words to scrap the Act during the poll campaign, I am optimistic that the new Government would act upon the same", she said .

''Nevertheless, I will continue my campaign until and unless the oppressive Act is repealed", she added.

Sharmila has been fasting since the day after personnel of Assam Rifles massacred ten innocent civilians at Malom in Greater Imphal on November 2, 2000.Shinghajit informed that her younger sister was discharged by a medical board from Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi.

"Her health is okay but she has low blood pressure for which acute medical attention should be given to her'', he said.

While recalling that a delegation of State political leaders that recently visited the Central leaders was advised to bring about a political consensus for lifting ASFSA, Shinghajit said another reason for her return to Imphal is to press the new Congress led coalition Government to lift the oppressive Act.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, on Friday iterated that the Disturbed Area status under the Act had already been lifted by his Government from seven Assembly segments of Imphal Municipal area.

Ibobi had also assured of repealing the Act from the whole of the State as and when the law and order situation improves.

Sharmila, who has penned a number of poems focusing deeply on human rights and social changes, was among 1000 women across the globe nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.Till the time of filing this report the police have not registered any FIR case either against her or her brother.

Showing solidarity to Sharmila's unrelenting cam paign, a number of civil society organizations has been staging Wakat Meephams (protest session) and rallies across the state since her stir launched.


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