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Irom Sharmila re-arrested; sent to a prison hospital and put on a nasal drip

March 11, 2010 | By

Irom Sharmila (Iron Lady of Manipur)

Irom Sharmila (Iron Lady of Manipur)

Imphal/Manipur (March 11, 2010): Irom Sharmila, who has been on a fast-unto-death since November 4, 2000 demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in Manipur, was rearrested on Tuesday, as she continued her fast despite being released by the court.

The Act, under which she was arrested (for attempt to commit suicide), does not permit the authorities to detain her for more than one year at one go. She was released on Monday after she completed one year of detention. As her condition without medication and nose-feeding became precarious, the police rearrested her.

“Human rights activist Irom Sharmila, jailed since 2000 for resorting to a hunger strike against alleged rights violations by the security forces in Manipur, was once again arrested by police on charges of attempted suicide. The activist continued her refusal to eat a single morsel of food. Sharmila, who earned the sobriquet Iron Lady of Manipur and is now in her 10th year of judicial custody, was arrested on Wednesday night and was sent to a prison hospital and put on a nasal drip.” says an report.

“Sources said her condition was a cause of concern. All her organs were affected. She staggered out of J.N. Hospital, which was declared a sub-jail for her and went straight to the office of Save Sharmila Organization nearby to continue her protest.” say a report of The Hindu.

Sharmila is said to have told journalists that there was no question of her breaking the fast until the AFSPA was repealed. The misuse of its provisions resulted in people getting killed, and in excesses, she said.

Sharmila had rejected appeals from Indian Prime Ministers, Presidents and other leaders in the past to break her fast. But Sharmila stands firm on her commitments.

On November 4, 2000, some militants exploded a bomb near the airport here, as three vehicles of 8 Assam Rifles were passing by.

There was no casualty or damage to the vehicles. However, the personnel allegedly rounded up 1o persons, who were standing in the bus-stand and working in their homes nearby and all were mowed down. In protest, Sharmila launched the fast.

These special powers acts allow security forces to gun down civilians in the interests of “unity and integrity of country” in so-called “disturbed areas”. There are allegations that Indian forces grossly abuse such powers, as there is no one to check them.

The Sikh Students Federation, in statement sent to the SikhSiyasat Network, has extended its moral support for Irom Sharmila and people of Manipur who are victimized by the Indian State though enactment of these black power laws.

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