Sharmila, a civil rights activist, began her hunger strike after the death of ten people in an alleged encounter with the Assam Rifles at Malom in Imphal valley on November 2, 2000.
She has been demanding the repeal of AFSPA which human rights activists the world over are calling a draconian law. The AFSPA gives sweeping powers to the armed forces when they fight separatist insurgents or leftist radicals.
Currently she is at a Delhi court fighting against the charge that she tried to commit suicide during her fast until death in 2006. She is now in judicial custody and is being fed through her nose. Sharmila is fed through her nose at JNIMS Hospital in Imphal.
Charged with Section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of IPC for fasting at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, the 40-year-old is in court right now.
Sharmila's story, more than a decade old, started with the infamous Malom massacre of November 2000 when 10 people, including a 1988 National Child Bravery Award winner, were gunned down by security forces in Malom town of Imphal valley.
The paramilitary forces claimed the civilians died in cross-firing.
"The lack of government response convinced Irom Sharmila Chanu, then 28, to act. On the evening of Nov 4, after taking blessings from her mother, she launched her hunger strike against the wider problems of AFSPA. In due course she extended the scope of her demand to all regions of India's northeast where AFSPA has been imposed," says the Facebook page on Sharmila.
Image: Irom Sharmila, right, gets blessings from a supporter as she prepares to leave for New Delhi from the JNIMS hospital In Imphal on Sunday, March 3, 2013.