This Indian Activist Has Been On A 16-year Hunger Strike, See Why


Weird as it sounds, an Indian Activist named, Irom Sharmila once embarked on a Hunger Strike and after 16-years is set to end her strike.

She embarked on the hunger strike as a Protest against the use of force by military in troubled Regions. However, the Indian rights activist, on Tuesday 10th August promised to end her hunger strike in order to run in 2017 state elections.

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Abhirr VP, Amnesty International India Spokesperson, said that Sharmila has been fasting for the past 16 years, since November 2, 2000, to protest the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a controversial law that gives armed forces special powers of search and seizure in troubled regions.

VP also said that the activist launched her protest against AFSPA after 10 civilians were killed by security forces in insurgency-hit Manipur. She said that Sharmila for her steadfast campaign, promised to contest the chief minister of Manipur in the upcoming state elections.

According to the spokeswoman, Sharmila pledged to repeal AFSPA if she is elected. The activist said that the law has been misused by security forces. L Rebada, Sharmila’s lawyer, said that her client would remain in judicial custody till her bail papers are cleared.

The lawyer disclosed that Sharmila had been taken to the Imphal hospital where she has been kept for several years and force-fed through a nasal tube. Rebada said she was arrested a few days after she started her fast on charges of attempting suicide and has been in judicial custody since then.

Hunger Strike Victim

Irom Sharmila - hunger strike

Also known as the “Iron Lady of Manipur” or “Mengoubi,” Irom Sharmila having refused food and water for more than 500 weeks, she has been called “the world’s longest hunger striker”. On International Women’s Day, 2014 she was voted the top woman icon of India by MSN Poll.

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In 2014 two parties asked her to stand in the national election, but she declined. She was then denied the right to vote as a person in jail cannot vote according to law.

She was released in August 2014 and re-arrested only a few days after on similar charges to those for which she was acquitted and remanded in judicial custody for 15 days. With the end of this strike, Sharmila wants to embrace the world of reality and go fully into politics to fight for justice and her course.