TODAY -
Sharmila finds allies in Kerala
Source: The Sangai Express / Agencies

Kochi, December 10 2009: Expressing solidarity to Irom Chanu Sharmila who has been fighting against injustice in the North-eastern State of Manipur for the last 10 years, two Muslim organisations in Kerala have begun a campaign in three States namely Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka from today.

Coinciding with the International Human Rights Day today, Students Islamic Organisation and the National Women's Front, which are in the forefront to support the cause of Sharmila, staged dharnas and collected signs pleading to protect Sharmila's life in selected cities across the three States.

The cities selected are Bengaluru, Mangalore, Coimbatore, Calicut and Thiruvananthapuram.

The dharna was held from 11 am to 1 pm in Thiruvananthapuram and from 3pm to 5 pm in Calicut.

Collection of signature asking for the protection of Sharmila's life also began in these select cities from today.

The signature would be sent to the Union Home Ministry and the state Govt of Manipur, according to the organiser of the campaign.

"Any act of torture ultimately affects women.

That is why the National Women's Front has decided to fight against the cruel injustice done to Irom Sharmila", said AS Sainaba, national president of the NWF.

"Generally, the Government gives special powers to the Army in specific circumstances.

But in Manipur, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act has been in force since 1958 .

Studies reveal that the encounters and other problems in the State are caused by the cruelties of the AFSPA.

It is not yet time to forget the plight of Manorama Devi.

Sharmila herself began her fasting in 1999 when 10 men were indiscriminately shot dead in Malom by the AFSPA," said Ms Sainaba.

The National Women's Front is the women's wing of the Popular Front of India.

The organisation functions in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The Students Islamic Organisation, the students' wing of Jamat e Islami, had also organised a campaign expressing solidarity with Irom Sharmila and her cause earlier from November 6 to 15 "The SIO has always supported Irom Sharmila and her cause through its columns", said Irshad, state general secretary of the organisation.

Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Irom Sharmila's fast, SIO went through its campaign by way of printed posters, SMS and e-mail campaigns, cultural gatherings and film shows.

Film shows that support the struggle of the Manipuri people were organised in campuses.

Selected films were shown and cultural gatherings held in Calicut and Ernakulam also.


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