‘Iron Lady’ likely to end fast on August 9, to contest Manipur polls

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Irom_Chanu_SharmilaIrom Sharmila, a human rights activist, also known as the ‘Iron Lady’, will reportedly end her 16-year-long fast on August 9 and contest the upcoming elections in Manipur.

While addressing reporters outside the Imphal Court on July 26, she said that she will end her fast and contest polls Manipur. Without elaborating, she also expressed her wish to get married.

Sharmila, 42, has been on a hunger strike from November 2000 protesting against the death of 10 Manipuris shot dead by security forces in Imphal. She demanded that Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act be withdrawn.

Dismissing accusations that she tried to end her life, the Iron Lady said she was jailed several times under Section 390.

Earlier, Sharmila rejected Aam Aadmi Party’s offer to contest Lok Sabha elections under its banner from the inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat in 2014.

Despite repeated calls to withdraw the AFSPA from UN experts as well as national and international groups, the Act continues to be enforced.

The Iron Lady’s decision to contest polls will completely change the political scene in Manipur.

Human rights groups have come down heavily on the AFSP enacted to control what the Centre considered disturbed areas.