Manipur’s capital is celebrating Womens Day without the customary cards and roses. A group of women held a rally on Sunday in support of Irom Sharmila,released on Saturday after spending eight years in jail for protesting against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
Sharmila has been on a fast unto death since 2000 to press for the repeal of the AFSPA,a controversial anti-terror legislation which gives the Armed Forces sweeping powers to arrest without warrant and shoot to kill on the basis of suspicion. After her release from the Jawaharlal Nehru hospital where she had been held,she said,I will continue my fast. For as long as it takes to repeal the Act.
The AFSPA has come in for sustained criticism for its role in the killing of innocent citizens with the 2004 Manorama murder attracting widespread condemnation.
Ima Nganbi,part of the historic protest on July 15,2004 at Kangla Gate against the Manorama killing,is here to express solidarity with Sharmila.