‘Public apathy’ forced Irom Sharmila to end her fast


Manipur’s “Iron Lady” Irom Sharmila Chanu, who on Tuesday surprised many by announcing that she would end her 16-year-old fast next month, said that general “public apathy” to her ‘struggle’ forced her to take the decision.

The rights activist told the media that she was dismayed by the inability of the government to pay heed to her pleading for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as well as apathy of the civilian bodies which had not given enough support to her fight.

She expressed her disapproval of using school-going students during the agitation for implementation of the Inner Line Permit System in the state.

“I will break my fast as the Govt has failed to give any positive response,” Irom Sharmila had told agencies adding that she would now fight the upcoming state elections to resolve the issues. The elections for the Manipur Legislative Assembly are scheduled to happen in early 2017.

The news channel also reported that Sharmila will contest elections in Manipur, which will be held in 2017.

Multiple reports said that Irom Sharmila will break her fast on August 9. Sharmila has been on a fast for about 15 years, seeking repeal of the AFSPA. The court on 4 March, 2013, framed charges against Sharmila for attempting to commit suicide in Delhi, and put her on trial after she refused to plead guilty to the offence.


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