by Ajith Vijay Kumar

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 15:14
Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar

Imphal: A sessions court in Manipur, Tuesday, ordered the immediate release of civil rights activist Irom Sharmila, who has been on an indefinite hunger strike demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act for the past 13 years.

The 42-year-old ‘Iron Lady’ of Manipur was kept under house arrest following fears that she wants to commit suicide. She is being nose-fed by the state government at a government hospital, which was converted into a jail for her. The Manipuri government had slapped an attempt to suicide case on her.

Ordering her release, the court observed that the prosecution has failed to establish Sector 309 (Attempt to Suicide) case on Irom Sharmila.

The court said that it is just an allegation that she wants to commit suicide, hence she cannot be kept under arrest and should be released immediately.

Sharmila has been on indefinite hunger strike to demand repeal of the Act after killing of 10 civilians allegedly by the Assam Rifles near Imphal airport in November 2000.

She wants the withdrawal of AFSPA “so that people could live without any fear in the state”.