Saturday 22 October 2016

Teary-eyed Sharmila Walks Free, Vows to Carry on Her Fast

PTI Photo

A teary-eyed rights activist Irom Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike for 14 years, today walked free from a make-shift prison here vowing to continue her fight for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Forces Act.

Without the familiar nasal drip, a part of the abiding symbol of her struggle, frail-looking Sharmla, 41, was escorted out of the government hospital at Porompat where a room was converted into a jail.

"It's God's will. I'm emotional...I have been suffering so much", said the activist with a faltering voice, a day after a sessions court here ordered her release and acquitted her of the charge of attempting to commit suicide by refusing food.

Sharmila, who has been on hunger strike since November, 2000, vowed to continue her fast until her demand for withdrawal of AFSPA is met.

"Until and unless my demands are fulfilled, I will not take anything through my mouth. It is my right. It is a means for my struggle", she said.

Terming AFSPA as a "draconian" law that gave rise to a "lots of widows", Sharmila said her agitation "is for justice" and sought the people's support for it.

"What I want from the people is not singing my glory but their mass support. Real win lies in fulfilment of my demands....For the last 14 years, I have been suffering so much", she said.

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