Manipur/Nagpur: Irom Sharmila to end her 16-year-old fast, not today, but on August 23. She was supposed to end her fast today, but the court has postponed the hearing to the 23rd. Sharmila told the Hindu that she had been fasting for 16 years but did not got anything from it. “I want to try a different agitation now one that will see me contest against the Chief Minister of the State.”
Sharmila has been granted bail in the case connected with her 16-year-long fast against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act at an Imphal Court. The court, which has repeatedly tried her for attempted suicide, allowed her to sign a bail bond of Rs 10,000. However, it has not issued a release order yet, which means she is still in judicial custody.
The bench also wished her luck after she said she will pursue a political career as an independent candidate.
Sharmila started a hunger strike in November 2000, following the killing of 10 civilians by security forces. She was arrested by the Manipur government the same year under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, which prohibits an attempt to commit suicide.
Sharmila, known as the ‘Iron Lady of Manipur’, announced on July 26 that she would end her fast and contest next year’s Manipur assembly election. She also hinted that she would marry her boyfriend Desmond Coutinho, an India-born British national, and resume normal life.
Sharmila has announced she will contest Manipur assembly elections next year, with the BJP, Congress and JD-U sending her feelers.
Image: Irom Sharmila was escorted to the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West.