Irom Sharmila finally ends her 16-year-long fast, says she wants to be Manipur CM
After being on a hunger strike for 16 long years, Irom Sharmila finally broke her fast and said that she wants to become the Chief Minister of Manipur.
After being on a hunger strike for 16 long years, Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila broke her fast on Tuesday and said that she wants to become the chief minister of Manipur to take positive steps for the state.
"In Manipur, there is no real democracy and politics is so dirty," Sharmila, also known as Manipur's 'Iron Lady', told reporters after breaking her fast.
Sharmila became emotional and broke down as she took a sip of honey from a spoon.
"I'll never forget this moment," she said.
"I want to be the Chief Minister of Manipur to take positive steps," she said. "I know nothing about politics. My education is very, very low...But I will use everything I have for the society," Sharmila said.
"The topmost priority will be the removal of this draconian law," she said, referring to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
"People have reacted negatively to my decision to enter politics. But this is my decision," she said. "I will see my mother only after I achieve my goal of repealing AFSPA," she further said.
Stressing on the point that she was not afraid of the consequences of her actions, Sharmila said, "Let them kill me the way they killed Mahatma Gandhi."
"I think most of the people in Manipur want self-determination," she said.
"PM Modi needs to follow the path of non-violence set by Mahatma Gandhi," Sharmila said.
The Manipuri activist got bail from a court in Imphal earlier on Tuesday after she promised the magistrate to break her 16-year-old fast.
Sharmila has been campaigning against AFSPA – which provides special powers to the Armed Forces handle insurgents in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir.
She was termed a 'Prisoner of conscience' by Amnesty International and has been a recipient of various prizes. Sharmila had declined food or drink for the last 16 years, seeking repeal of the controversial AFSPA. She began a hunger strike in November 2000, following the killing of 10 civilians by security forces. She was arrested by the Manipur government in 2000 under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, which prohibits an attempt to commit suicide.
The iconic rights activist had been forcibly fed through a nasal tube since 2000 to keep her alive at a prison-turned-hospital in Imphal.
(With inputs from agencies)
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