Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila on Tuesday ended her 16 year old long fast demanding repeal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
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Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila on Tuesday ended her 16-year-old long fast demanding repealing of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from the state. It was an emotional moment for Sharmila as she broke down during the press conference while announcing the end of her fast. “From today on wards I have ended my fast. I will never forget this moment,” she said, after breaking her fast with a dab of honey.
Sharmila, who had already cleared her intention to join politics to carry her movement forward, said she wants to become the chief minister of Manipur to improve its situation. “I am being the real embodiment of revolution, and I want to be the CM of Manipur to help people,” she said adding that she will do everything for a positive society and removal of the ‘draconian law’.
On various political parties approaching her to join their parties, Sharmila said, “Let them approach, I will just say I want to be an independent candidate. Let people come with me.”
She also slammed her critics saying she wants to change their perception towards her. “People remain negative towards me about my new decision, they want to think about me with the tube. I want to change that,” she said.
“I want to be seen just as a human being with feelings, not as a goddess. Let them kill me the way people killed Mahatma Gandhi with accusation of anti-Hindu,” Sharmila said while responding to the death threat to her.
As a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said, “Mr Prime Minister, you indulge in violence. In civilization, we need non-violence. Our father of the nation is the father of non-violence. You can connect with us, you can govern us with fatherly affection, without discrimination.”
About her political career, she said she didn’t know much about politics adding that her education was very low. She said by entering politics, she will push for a positive society, the foremost thing being removal of draconian law of AFSPA.
She was, earlier in the day, released by a court after signing Personal Recognition (PR) Bond. Sharmila had appeared before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate of Imphal West, Lamkhanpau Tonsing this morning at about 11 a.m and was granted bail on personal bond of Rs 10,000.
She requested the CJM to release her on PR Bond promising to break her 16-year-old fast against AFSPA but the judge told her that pleading guilty was the only option to release her but she did not agree to it.
Ultimately the CJM allowed her to sign the PR Bond.
After coming out from the courtroom Sharmila came to address the media in another room but due to the heavy rush there and chaotic situation, the activist was whisked away by police to her jail ward in hospital.
Sharmila had a fortnight ago announced that she will break her fast, join politics and get married.
Sharmila began her hunger strike in November 2000 following the killing of 10 civilians by security forces. She was arrested by the Manipur government the same year on charges of attempting to commit suicide.
She has always denied the charge, saying she is using the fast as a weapon. As the prosecution failed to prove that she was trying to kill herself, the Chief Judicial Magistrate had ordered on February 29, 2016 that she be freed.
She was rearrested on the same charge as she continued the fast.