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Manipur activist Irom Sharmila arrested yet again while protesting against AFSPA

Aug 22, 2014 10:37 AM IST India India

Imphal: Manipur activist Irom Sharmila has yet again been arrested while she was protesting against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Imphal. When the police arrived at the protest venue on Friday morning, Irom and her mother resisted arrest, following which the police forcibly picked her up and took her away in a police van.

Irom has been taken away to the Jawaharlal Nehru hospital for a check-up. She will be kept under observation. The police cannot hold her for more than 24 hours without taking her to court. The police is expected to bring back charges of attempted suicide.

Soon after her release, Irom refused a medical examination. The court order on her release had said that the state will be responsible for her health and must feed her through a nasal tube if necessary.

There was heavy police presence at the protest site in Imphal where she continued her hunger strike.

Irom Sharmila was released on Wednesday after a Manipur court decriminalised her protest, dismissing the attempted suicide charge against her. Irom Sharmila was in custody for over 14 years and force fed through a tube to deter her hunger strike.

Irom had, upon her release on Wednesday, said that she wouldn't allow anybody to force-feed her. "I will not take any force feed this time. I will not allow any medical set up. I don't feel hungry. What I feel is an emptiness," she said.

Irom has been on an indefinite fast since November 4, 2000, demanding repulsion of the AFSPA. She was charged with attempting to commit suicide. Under this charge, she can be kept in custody for one year at a stretch.

After release from the hospital, the Manipuri activist, while talking to media appealed to people for mass support against AFSPA, which she feels is a draconian law. Reiterating her demands, she said her fast will continue her fast till her demands are addressed.

"I think certain parts of section 309 has been decriminalised which is an achievement. I feel satisfied. I hope my perseverance against AFSPA will not go unnoticed. Whether people will support me or not I will wait for the government to take AFSPA back. Sooner or later, I will succeed. I have full faith in god," Irom said.