Sharmila says she’s not changed her stand on AFSPA but strategy
IMPHAL, August 23: Irom Chanu Sharmila, who broke her 16-year-long fast against Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act on August 9 this year, after an Imphal court granted bail in connection with an attempted suicide case, on Tuesday said she will apply for her legal documents including identity card to continue campaign against AFSPA.
“When I apply for documents as I plan to attend an anti-AFSA campaign in Delhi (in collaboration with North East Forum for International Solidarity), I’m also planning to stay in an Ashram for some time. I have also a plan to stay for 10-20 days in Ukhrul as well as the campaign (against AFSPA),” says ‘Iron lady of Manipur’ while addressing a 10-minute press conference after appearing before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) in Imphal around 1.30 pm Tuesday.
Sharmila is a well known human rights activist. But currently she has no Voters Identity or Aadhar or PAN (Permanent account number) card not to speak of having a Bank Account.
One of Sharmila’s friend and supporter when contacted said that they will try to help her in getting her legal documents from today onwards.
Meanwhile, after an hour long examination before court of CJM Imphal Lamphanpau Tonsing, Sharmila who was invited for an International Youths conference to be held in Punjab this September end, said that she has not changed her stand (against the AFSPA) but the strategy.
Stating that she wants to move forward for the cause through secret ballots, Sharmila who is presently staying at JNIMS (hospitals) for the health reasons as the doctors monitoring her diet since her digestive system was inactive for 16 years, admitted that the younger generations, who want to have a change, also comes out to support her.
The 44-year-old, who broke the fast with a dab of honey on August 9, said that she would fight elections to continue her campaign against AFSPA that gives virtual immunity to security forces to raid, arrest and kill people, and is seen as a cover for human rights abuses by critics.
Earlier, Sharmila arrived at the court complex at Uripok in Imphal with security escorts around 11.10 am and she was greeted by a group of individuals mostly youths holding play cards which read, “I am with Eche (elder sister) against AFSPA”, “Justice will prevail” at the court complex to extend support to her. In the day’s hearing, the CJM court examines her statement and fixes the final hearing on September 5 next.