Imphal: In a big relief for activist Irom Sharmila, a Manipur Court has ordered her release citing lack of evidence on attempted suicide charges. The court has said that she should be released immediately.
Though according to sources, it will take at least two days to complete the formalities of her release.
The court on Tuesday 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.