Nothing will change my stand against Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA): Irom Sharmila

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 10, 2013 14:02 hrs

New Delhi: Irom Sharmila may be waging a lonely battle against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) for the past 12 years without eating even a morsel of food, but the 'iron lady' from Manipur is determined that her fight for repeal of the controversial act will continue come whatever may.

Sharmila, who was in Delhi last week to appear before a court for trial for an attempting to commit suicide during her hunger strike, believes that this case will not make much of a difference in her struggle.

She says she will continue her fight till her demand is fulfilled without fear of police cases.

"Nothing will be sent to my side but to the other authorities, protesters who want to voluntarily follow my protest, it will be a big difference," Sharmila told PTI.

Sharmila's protest started on November 2, 2000 when she began her fast in protest against an encounter in which 10 civilians were gunned down by Assam Rifles personnel. Since then she has been nose fed.

Describing support from students as "very strengthening", she said she does not wish people to join her in the hunger strike but instead want them to support her through their "solidarity" and "action".

Sharmila said she also wants that the government to respect Justice Verma's recommendations to withdraw AFSPA.

"We need a movement which has a more collective ethos to persuade the government. Our democratic leaders should see that what they have decided to do is wrong. Army should be controlled by the government," she said.

About criticism on her way of protest, she said if she wanted to commit suicide, she could have done it years ago.

"Attempting to commit suicide is really a mockery," she said.

Even though her protest was not centred in Delhi like in the case of Anna Hazare's movement against corruption, Sharmila feels that people were gradually getting awakened to her cause.

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