Irom Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike from last 16 years has decided to end her fast on August 9. She has not had a single morsel of food or a sip of water in the past 16 years, and has been fed through a plastic tube that goes into her stomach through her nose. Irom Sharmila has been demanding the repeal of controversial (AFSPA) Armed Forces Special Powers Act that has been enforced in Manipur.
Sharmila began her hunger strike in November 2000 against the killing of 10 civilians by security forces at a bus stop near Imphal airport. Sharmila said using fast as a weapon she could achieve her goal of repealing AFSPA. Irom Sharmila is calling off her fast in order to fight elections and change the system by representing her people.
Sharmila has been arrested, released and then re-arrested from time to time on the charge of making an attempt to commit suicide, The maximum punishment under Section 309 of IPC is a one-year jail term. Sharmila is forcibly fed through a nasal tube in Imphal’s Jawahar Lal Nehru Hospital, a special ward of which acts as her prison.
She said she no longer believes that her fast will lead to the repeal of the “draconian” AFSPA but she will continue the fight. “That is why I will join politics and my fight will continue”