Sharmila freed, but continues fasting

IMPHAL: Manipur’s Iron Lady, Irom Sharmila Chanu, walked free once again as an Imphal court on Thursday afternoon released the anti-Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) campaigner from judicial custody. For over a decade, she has been on a fast-unto-death seeking repeal of AFSPA from the state.

Minutes after the chief judicial magistrate of Imphal furnished the release order, Sharmila, accompanied by some Meira Paibis (members of Manipuri women’s vigil group), walked out from the security ward of the state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) here where she was being forced-fed through the nose by the government forces.

Every time Sharmila is released, she goes back on her fast, only to be arrested again under Section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of the IPC. Her latest one-year imprisonment term just came to an end. But, as usual, Sharmila continued fasting. However, till the time of filing this report, police have not arrested the Iron Lady again.

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