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Imphal: Irom Sharmila set free, asks for mass support against AFSPA

Aug 20, 2014 05:25 PM IST India India

Imphal: Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila, who is on indefinite fast for repeal AFSPA in Manipur, has been released from Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Science of Imphal on Wednesday evening. A Manipur Court on Tuesday had ordered Sharmila's release citing lack of evidence on attempted suicide charges. The court had said that she should be released immediately.

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.

On Tuesday the court observed that an intent to commit suicide cannot be established in the case against her and she cannot be kept under arrest. The Manipur government is free to challenge the order in a higher court.

Sharmila has been on an indefinite fast since November 4, 2000, demanding repulsion of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 (AFSPA). She was charged with attempting to commit suicide. Under this charge, she can be kept in custody for one year at a stretch.

In view of her ill health, Sharmila is currently lodged in a special ward of the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal where one room, where she is confined to, has been declared sub-jail.

The AFSPA, against which Sharmila has been fighting, provides unlimited powers to the security forces to shoot at sight, arrest anybody without a warrant or carry out searches without hindrances.
It also insulates the security forces from legal processes for any action undertaken under the act.