42-year-old Irom Sharmila Chanu was re-arrested by the Manipur police on Saturday after she was produced before a magistrate. Sharmila was released day before Friday and after a tussle with the mothers of SAKAL, the organization which looks after her whenever she is released, she was taken to the Ima Keithel or the Mothers Market in the heart of Imphal where she continued her fast.
After her health deteriorated at 9 pm last night, the Manipur police, who had been guarding her around the clock, rushed her to the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Porompat. “This is not an arrest, we are taking her for medical treatment,” said additional SP Imphal West Ibomcha Singh at the spot.
This afternoon, however, the police produced her before the magistrate and remanded her back to police custody under section 309 of the IPC.
Executive Director Human Rights Alert Babloo Loitongbam said that this was a double standard of the police who took her for treatment claryfing that it was not an arrest but went ahead and arrested her this afternoon. “This is when the entire section 309 is being discussed and there is a move to throw it out,” he said.
Amnesty International India has condemned the re-arrest of Irom Sharmila.
“This re-arrest makes a mockery of the Indian criminal justice process. In the last five months Irom Sharmila has been released and re-arrested twice in what has now become an absurd ritual,” said Shemeer Babu, Programmes Director, Amnesty International India.