Woman ends 16 yrs hunger strike

Irom, who was forcefully fed through a nasal tube was discharged and acquitted on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 by a court Magistrate.

Sharmila Irom

Irom, who is 44 years of age began abstaining from feeding on November 2, 2000. This was after seeing soldiers murder ten people at a bus-stop close to her residence.

Her action has not been without consequences, as she was held in court custody for attempting to commit suicide.

An offence considered as severe as committing murder.

Nicknamed the "Ironlady of Manipur", Sharmila Irom has received various international prizes for her resistance such as a  Lifetime Achievement Award from the Asian Human Rights Commission.

In 2013, Amnesty International also declared her a Prisoner of Conscience.

She used the opportunity to explain why she took such an extreme measure for those number of years.

“My fight so far has been all alone and so I have decided to wage a war against the AFSPA act democratically by becoming a lawmaker instead of continuing with my fast."

“I went on a fast for about 16 years thinking I could change the system, but I now realize that this will not yield any result."

“So I decided to end my fast and join politics and then fight for the cause that I undertook this mission for justice."

“I would like to marry my fiance, a British national of Indian origin who I met after starting my fast", she said.

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