Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila who was on a fast for 16 years demanding repeal of Armd Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state is set to break her fast on Tuesday. 44-year-old Sharmila was kept alive by force-feeding since 2000.
Sharmila, to everyone’s surprise, had made this announcement on July 26 adding that she will join active politics to continue her fight. Manipur is going to polls in 2017.
“She will be produced before a judicial magistrate tomorrow and the court will release her from judicial custody after she breaks her fast as she had announced a fortnight ago,” Iron Sharmila’s brother told PTI on Monday.
Sharmila began her fast 16-years-ago in November 2000 after which she was arrested and force-fed at Imphal’s Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital which also served as a prison for her. She was, since then, arrested and re-arrested multiple times over charges of trying to attempt suicide.
The AFSPA, which was passed by Parliament in 1958, gives special powers to the armed forces to arrest people without warrant and search anyone’s property in areas where it is imposed. In November, 2000, 10 civilians were killed by security forces at a bus stop in Malom town which triggered Irom Sharmila to go on a fast.