Chennai, March 8 (IANS) Around 200 people participated in a 'Save Sharmila Week' that began here in support of Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila Chanu to mark International Women's Day.
Sharmila, a poetess-activist, is on a hunger strike for the last 12 years protesting against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in force in the northeastern state of Manipur.
"The event attracted around 200 people from all walks of life. There were people from Madurai and Tirunelvelli too. Prominent people and social activists addressed the gathering," C.P. Rani, founder president, North Madras Women's Welfare Service Centre, told IANS.
"As Sharmila's birthday falls on March 14, we decided to organise 'Save Sharmila Week' across the country," Imanul Hasan, secretary, Khudai Khidmatgar, told IANS.
He said Khudai Khidmatgar was one of the organisations that was also carrying out a 'Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign'.
According to Hasan, the week-long programme is to make people in other parts of the country aware about Sharmila's struggle for peace.
Hasan said activists, including him, would be on a fast from March 12-14 in Manipur along with Sharmila.