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'Iron lady' Irom Sharmila completes 11 years of fast

Imphal, Sun, 06 Nov 2011 ANI

Imphal, Nov 6 (ANI): 'Iron Lady' Irom Sharmila said that her decade long fast against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is democratic as her fast against AFSPA completed eleven years while under police custody.


She was produced before a magistrate in Imphal who extended her police custody by another fifteen days.


"My protest is really democratic. But our leaders are not really democratic," said Irom Sharmila.


Sharmila has been on an indefinite fast protesting against the controversial anti-terror law Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) since November 02, 2000.


The support for Sharmila's fast and the commemoration of eleven years of the fast could be seen in the form of various protests and gatherings being held around Imphal.


Several local student bodies, civil society groups, human rights activists and cultural organisations came out in support of their Iron Lady and staged protest meetings and rallies at several places in Imphal and elsewhere in the state.


"Sharmila is the queen of non-violence. She is a lady of peace. Whatever she does, is not only for herself, she is doing it for all of us. She has sacrificed her whole life for the state, the civilians and for the whole world. She has already completed eleven years today. We support her, citizens of Manipur, as her brothers, in her demand to repeal AFSPA 1958 from Manipur," said Gokul Singh, a sympathiser of Irom Sharmila.


Irom Sharmila started her fast in November 2000, protesting against the killing of ten civilians, allegedly by personnel of the Assam Rifles, a paramilitary outfit.


She has repeatedly been arrested and released on charges of 'attempt to suicide' under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.he is being forcibly fed through a feeding tube in her nose, much against her wishes.


The AFSPA enacted in 1958, empowers defence personnel in 'disturbed areas' such as Manipur and Kashmir, to search premises and arrest people without warrants, and to shoot to kill if they feel the situation requires it.(ANI)


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