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Irom Sharmila faces attempted suicide charges in Delhi court; Defends her protest against notorious AFSPA

March 4, 2013 | By

New Delhi, India (March 04, 2013): It is learnt that Irom Charu Sharmila, who has been on fast for about 12 years demanding repeal of notorious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was flown to Delhi from Manipur on Sunday (March 03, 2013); and She has appeared in a Delhi Court on Monday in a case under section 309 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Irom Chanu Sharmila – Iron lady of Manipur

This case was reportedly registered against her for fasting at Jantar Mantar in Delhi while demanding repeal of notorious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), that has been source of impunity for Indian security forces indulged in human rights abuses at Manipur and other areas labelled as “disturbed areas” by the Indian state.

“Charged with Section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of IPC for fasting at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, the 40-year-old on Sunday said the voices of protest cannot be ignored for long” reports Zee News.

“I am not committing suicide. This is my way of protest. I am protesting by non-violent means,” she reportedly said after being brought to the capital this evening.

She said she was confident that government will listen to her and concede to her demand to revoke Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). “If we keep fighting, the law will be repealed. Our voices will be heard.”

“My protest is not an attempt to suicide but a means to demonstrate without violence. In Manipur, due to AFSPA, violence has become the means of administration. The Indian government must repeal it,” she said.

Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike for the past 12 years, sought an end to her judicial remand. The Iron Lady of Manipur also questioned the government’s silence over AFSPA and said, “The government is afraid of the Army.”

According to Hindustan Times (HT): “Sharmila, who is staying at the Manipur Bir Tikendrajit House in Chanakyapuri, spoke to reporters from behind the entrance gate as security did not allow her to interact freely. The Manipuri students’ association of Delhi, who were accompanying her, said they will stage a protest outside Patiala House on Monday”.

It is notable that International human rights bodies like Amnesty International have also demanded the repeal of AFSPA, after identifying it as a source of impunity for personnel of Indian security forces indulged in human rights abuses.

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