Irom Sharmila Chanu to end her fast after 16 years on August 9
Amnesty International’s Prisoner of Conscience Irom Sharmila Chanu has taken an individual decision to end her 16-year-old fast against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act on August 9.
Irom Sharmila plans to contest independent elections
At a district court hearing in Imphal, Sharmila expressed the desire to come out of her fast and contest state elections. Speaking to local media, Sharmila said: “The only way to bring change is electoral process. I will stand as an independent candidate from Malom constituency. My single issue would be to remove AFSPA from the state. In my next hearing in the court on August 9 I will end my fast.”
She has been force fed through her nose the entire time. The Ryles tube through which she is force fed has over the years become a symbol of Manipur’s fight against AFSPA. Today, Irom startled Manipur and the rest of the world by announcing that she will give up her fast, get married, fight in the upcoming state assembly elections which are to be held early next year.
“The Government has not been listening to our voices and has been suppressing our movement,” she said. Irom said that she will be joining the political fray and contesting elections to “get our voices heard at the Centre”.