Friday, November 6, 2009

Irom Chanu Sharmila: 10 Years on hunger strike















Lokayat organises:

One Day token Hunger Strike in support of Sharmila Irom’s epic struggle

Poet and activist Sharmila Irom began her epic hunger strike on November 2, 2000. This is now the tenth year of her hunger strike.  Her hunger strike has one single goal: withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA). imposed an even more murderous act, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. This act is a harsher version of the act the British used to quell the 1942 Quit Indian Movement. This act allows not just officers but even Junior Commissioned Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the army to search, arrest, and even kill any person on grounds of mere “suspicion”.Yes, they can kill anyone with impunity, without fear of persecution! The armed forces have committed gross human rights violations under the cover of this act. The jawans of Assam Rifles daily arrest, beat up, torture nearly 80 to 100 people every day! Many women have suffered sexual abuse, rape, gang rape, and not one soldier has ever been prosecuted.

On November 2, 2000, the Assam Rifles (AR) gunned down 10 people at a bus stop in Malom village, near Imphal. Unknown insurgents had planted a bomb near the AR camp the previous day and, unable to locate the culprits, AR personnel hit out at random, killing many innocent citizens. Human rights organizations protested, to no avail. Shaken to the core by this injustice, poet and journalist Irom Sharmila decided to go on a hunger strike in protest.

Since then ten years have passed. The government and armed forces are adamantly refusing to withdraw the AFPSA, despite government appointed Justice Jeevan Reddy judicial commission recommending it. And Sharmila is determined that till it is withdrawn, she will continue her struggle.

This year, more than 140 organisations have decided to support Sharmila Irom’s hunger strike by organizing various programs during the week from November 2 to 7. The demands are:

   1. In all states where AFPSA is in force, all cases of rape and violence against women be investigated by a independent judicial body and those responsible be prosecuted under the law of the land.
   2. The AFPSA be withdrawn from Manipur and the other states where it in force.

In support of this countrywide protest, Lokayat is organizing the following program:

Program: One Day Hunger Strike in support of Sharmila Irom

Date:    November 7, Saturday

Time:   Morning 7 to Evening 7 pm

Venue: Tilak Putla, Mandai, Pune.

4 Earthling’s comments:

aria said...

Wasn't aware of this.. wonder why the media never highlights such news ..

noni said...

@aria:

mainstream media more interested on china-india border conflict..u will see this everywhere....but they not interested in lives of people in border states of north-east

Mar Dezie said...

You can find the story if you start looking. The Hindu of all papers seems to provide stories about Irom Sharmila Chanu. They mentioned the week long campaign in Imphal from November 2 at the beginning of the tenth year of the fast, pluse the three day human rights film festival in Bangalore. And once someone is aware what do they do. I have been sending her a couple of books every month by registered post to the security ward at the JN Hospital in Porompat Imphal. I am going to send her four for Xmas next month. If she doesn't receive them I can protest to the Authorities. If she does they are only books but she is India, beautiful and repelling. I hope one day to meet her.

kedar said...

Is this so called great democracy committing such heinous crimes. I am completely disturbed after having heard of such brave act.

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