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#India – After12 years NHRC finds time to meet Irom Sharmila, REALLY ?

TNN | Oct 24, 2013,\

IMPHAL: Twelve years after rights activist Irom Sharmila started a hunger strike seeking repeal ofArmed Forces (Special Powers) Act from Manipur, a team of National Human Rights Commission() met her for the first time in the security ward of JN Hospital here on Wednesday.Sharmila, who is on a fast since November, 2000, is being currently forced-fed through her nose by the government.

Led by NHRC chairman KG Balakrishnan, the team, comprising 20 members and officials, is on a three-day visit to the state. The team will also hold a sitting in Imphalon Thursday to examine the human rights situation in the strife-torn state. Complaints of extra-judicial killings, public distribution system, plight of fishermen whose huts in Loktak Lake were destroyed by the government, irregular release of salaries of government school teachers, healthcare system and condition at prisons are the issues which the commission will examine.

Accompanied by rights activists, including Human Rights Alert (HRA) executive director Babloo Loitongbam, Balakrishnan and some members recorded Sharmila’s statement on the state government’s frequent denial to grant permission to visitors, including her family members, to meet her.

On Friday, the members of the panel will meet representatives of social organizations, state chief secretary, DGP and jail officials, a source said.

In the meantime, Reach Out, an NGO, will file a representation to the commission against the government’s denial to clear salaries of SSA and RMSA teachers for some months. “We are all ready to file the representation to the commission on Thursday for doing the needful,” said the NGO’s chief coordinator, Kshetrimayum Onil.

Following cases filed by HRA and the self-explanatory Extra-judicial Execution Victim Families’ Association, Manipur, the Supreme Court had recently asked the commission to visit Manipur and take stock of the situation.

The two bodies, in their petitions, demanded a probe into over 1500 cases of fake encounter killings by the forces in Manipur.

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