Irom Chanu Sharmila, also known as the iron lady of Manipur, is ending fast on August 9th 2016. She Will Contest the Elections.
“Vowing to protest till AFSPA is withdrawn, Irom Sharmila now wants to end her 16 year long fast on August 9 and want to contest the elections”.
Despite 2 political parties asking her to contest in the national election in 2014, she declined and vowed to protest till the AFSPA is withdrawn. Irom Sharmila says that she wants to end her 16 year long fast on August 9 and want to contest the elections as an independent candidate.
It is said that Chanu Sharmila’s decision to contest would have a huge impact on Manipur’s political arena and is being seen as a new beginning in the fight against AFSPA in the state.
It is noted that Irom Sharmila sat on a hunger strike to revolt against the gunning down of 10 civilians waiting at a bus stop at Malom near Imphal airport, terming it as fake encounter by the Assam Rifles.
What’s AFSPA? – In the year 1958, the Indian government passed a law, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 that applies to just 7 states and allow armed forces the power to search properties without a warrant, and to detain people, and to use lethal force if there is “legitimate suspicion” that a person is involved in anti national activities; a similar Act applies to Jammu & Kashmir.
This Act has been condemned by many human rights activists as it gave radical powers and freedom to armed forces to act as they like in riot-affected regions.