By TCN News,
New Delhi: Volunteers and supporters of Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC) observed a day long fast at Jantar Mantar on November 4 to highlight 12 years of struggle of Irom.
SSSC is a nation-wide solidarity group against the neglect and suppression of Irom Sharmila, a Manipuri poet-activist who has been on a hunger-protest for 12 years now, on a protest against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Manipur.
On November 5, she is completing 12 years of her hunger-protest.
Babloo Lothingam from Just Peace Foundation of Manipur also participated. Various students from colleges and civil rights activists such as writer Pankaj Singh, Mehtab Alam, and social activist Bilal Sultan from J&K were also present.
Devika Mittal of SSSC said, “We want to send out the message that she is not alone. We are with her. We feel for Irom because she is a true democrat and a citizen of this country. She has every right to be heard. Her struggle shows her faith in democracy and non-violence.” She added, “The Government must initiate talks with her.”
Ravi Nitesh, another core member of SSSC, remarked, “It cannot be denied that AFSPA has created problems in Manipur and other AFSPA-imposed states and it ruptured the normal life of people of these states.”
Gufran Khan, a volunteer for SSSC added, “If the government is not willing to do anything on this aspect, the judiciary must intervene as its about the violation of human lives.”
In another step to highlight the struggle, SSSC had also organised an article-series on Irom Sharmila wherein articles were invited from the public and were published on the website. 12 articles were selected and one article was published every day to symbolize one year of fast. This will conclude on 5th November.
A memorandum was also submitted to the Prime Minister of India with a copy to Ministry of Home Affairs and NHRC to demand the government to initiate the dialogue with her.
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