26 July, Imphal
Manipur civil rights activist Irom Sharmila has decided to end her fast on 9th of next month and contest Assembly elections as an Independent candidate.
She has been on hunger strike for the last sixteen years demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. The 44-year-old activist, who has been forcibly fed through a nasal tube since 2000, said she would join politics as she no longer believes that her fast will lead to the repeal of what she tearmed as “draconian” AFSPA.
Assembly elections in Manipur are scheduled early next year. In the past, many political leaders have met Sharmila and tried to cajole her into joining politics but she has rejected all offers.
Centre has welcomed the civil rights activist Irom Sharmila’s decision to end her fast and join the democratic process. Talking to media outside Parliament, Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju said, her announcement to fight election and participate in political process is a good move.