Worldwide demonstration to mark 11 years of Sharmila`s fasting today


IMPHAL, November 4: Irom Sharmila who has been staging a fast unto death campaign demanding the repeal of the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958 will be completing 11 years of fasting tomorrow. The iron lady informed the press today her fast will continue until her demand is met.

Talking to media persons today outside the court complex of Judicial Magistrate, Imphal, Sharmila told reporters that she would continue with her agitation though in judicial custody.

Irom Sharmila was produced before the CJM Imphal this morning at 11 am and remanded to judicial custody for another 15 days.

When questioned what she would say if she gets a chance to meet the Prime Minister, Sharmila responded that there is nothing more left to say as her fast which will be 11 years old tomorrow carries the obvious message.

“My agitation is democratic but our leaders are not democratic”, said Sharmila when questioned of whether the government concerned are doing justice to her.

She also decried the act of the government for not allowing her to meet various NGOs, right activists, and journalists etc. who came to meet her till date.

To mark the 11 year completion of Sharimla’s hunger strike, the Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA (group) along with several other democratic and human rights bodies is organizing an “All India One Day Fast and Demonstration” in many cities in India and around the world on November 5.

The Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA group, in a statement call on to all the concern individuals, professionals, student organisations, civil societies, women groups, theatre activists, academic communities, activists and all the people who believes in the principle and practice of Democracy to join in the fast.

It said that the demonstration is organized in support of the 53 years of people’s struggle against AFSPA and the 11years hunger strike of Irom Sharmila to repeal AFSPA. It said on November 5, Irom Sharmila will complete 10 years, 11 months, 29 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, 60 Seconds (completely 11 years) and continue till this black, undemocratic, inhuman, act, AFSPA is repealed.

“The programme organized is a day-long fast accompanied by stimulating discussion with senior activists working in the field including the likes of ex bureaucrat Kuldeep Nayar, lawyer and human rights activist Vrinda Grover, senior HR activist Harsh Mander, historian Miranda House Uma Chakravarti, Prof Political Science JNU Bimol Akoijan, activist Gautam Navlakha, writer Deepti Priya, film-maker Kavita Joshi and many”.

Moreover the group is planning to stage powerful theatre acts on democracy and AFSPA, musical and poetry recitals by amateur social-artists and a grand spectacle of ‘LIFT AFSPA’ by releasing hundreds of balloons in the sky, further stated the release.

Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA further informed that many have positively responded and come forward to take part in the struggle and conduct programmes in their respective states.

Some of the places where the demonstration will be organized include in North America- organized by the North American Manipuri Association.

In India the demonstration is slated to be organized at Bangalore by Manipur Meitei Association-Bangalore; at Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh by Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA group; at Bhubaneshwar Orissa at the Post Master’s general and in front of Orissa Assembly organized by the Navnirman Smiriti (Yuva Bharath).

In New Delhi the demonstration will be staged at Jantar Mantar organized by the Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA group, New Delhi; in Rajasthan it will be organized by NAPM-Faisal Khan, at Gujarat by Manipuri Students’Union of Varodha.

The Medinipuro Lodha Sabro Kalyan Samiti will also organize the observation of the day at Medinapur, West Bengal and Janata Praja Shamiti will organized it at Kolkata Metro Station.

In Imphal the demonstration is going to be organized by the Just  Peace Foundation, Manipur Film Form, Manipur University Students; in Chireman, Tripura by Tripura Manipuri Students Youth and in Assam the demonstration will be organized at Nogaon, Silchar, Dibrugarh and Tejpur by Dibrugarh University-Tejpur University.

The day will also be observed at Himachal Pradesh organized by Gandhi Global Family, in Chandigarh, Punjab by Manipur Student Association Chandigarh; and in Kerala it will be organized by All India Students Federation. The day will also be observed at Pune-Maharastra and Bihar, the release added.


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