'Support Sharmila' campaign to begin on Women's Day

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 07, 2013 12:30 hrs

New Delhi: A campaign to gather support for iconic Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila, on a fast for about 12 years demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act that is seen by many as repressive, would be launched March 8, International Women's Day.

The campaign would begin in Chennai and culminate March 14, Sharmila's birthday, in Imphal, the capital of Manipur, said a statement released here Thursday by the organisers of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign.

The special law, against which Sharmila is campaigning, grants army officers legal immunity for their actions in areas termed as "disturbed".

"The volunteers will sit on solidarity fast March 12 in Imphal, along with Sharmila. On her birthday, there will be no celebrations as Sharmila has told us that she does not want to divert the attention from the real issue," it said.

"Our main object is to make people aware about her struggle for peace and democracy and to show our solidarity with her," said the statement.

A Delhi court Monday framed charges against Sharmila for attempt to commit suicide and issued show cause notice to the activist after she refused to plead guilty.

Sharmila, who was present in the court, deniedshe attempted to commit suicide here during a protest at Jantar Matnar in 2006, saying she values life too much.

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