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Irom Sharmila’s strike enters 10th year

Posted by Admin on November 5, 2009

iromsharmilastoryManipur is India’s most disturbed state today, with more than two dozen militant outfits at war with the Indian security forces. But there’s another war that the security forces wage her – .people’s confidence in them is at an all-time low with a series of deaths that seem to be fake encounters. The army has described these as counter-insurgency operations. Locals say that line is wearing thin.

Symbolizing what the people want is Irom Sharmila, whose hunger strike enters its tenth year on Monday. Her one point-agenda: stop the Armed Forces Special Act which gives the army extraordinary powers and immunity.

Sharmila began her struggle on November 2, 2000 after ten persons were gunned down by security forces at Malom in Imphal. Since last year, more women have joined her in a relay hunger strike.

Those who support Irom Sharmila have decided to celebrate her story of resistance in a week-long Festival of Hope and Justice in Imphal. Among them, noted author Mahashweta Devi, who says, “She’s fighting for human rights, we will try our level best to join her and force the Government of India to withdraw the forces …. What she has done hasn’t been done anywhere in the world. She’s fighting for truth. ”

The woman being honoured won’t be able to attend the festival. She is under arrest, locked in a hospital room, being force-fed on charges of attempted suicide. That’s how she has spent the last nine years. NDTV


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