Iboyaima Laithangbam

This May 9, 2014 photo shows Irom Chanu Sharmila leaving a court in Imphal.
PTI This May 9, 2014 photo shows Irom Chanu Sharmila leaving a court in Imphal.

The court of the chief judicial magistrate, Imphal East, has given permission to Irom Chanu Sharmila to appear before a Delhi court on May 27, 2014. She faces charges of attempt to commit suicide.

She has been on a fast since November 4, 2000 demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958. She is booked under section 309 IPC. The law permits the authority to detain her for one year at one go. At the end of each year she is released.

But then she is invariably rearrested since she continues the fast in front of her supporters.

In 2006, she slipped through the airport to land at Jantar Mantar to continue her fast. Police and intelligence agencies were caught napping since her presence in Delhi was brought to their notice only when some news channels telecast her fasting there.

Talking to reporters at the court premises on Tuesday Ms. Sharmila denied that she is trying to commit suicide. She said that she was using fast as a weapon to achieve her objective. If she wanted to commit suicide nobody could have prevented her from doing so, she said.

Her lawyer Mani Khaidem said that the repeated prosecution of Ms. Sharmila is unconstitutional. He is demanding unconditional release of Ms. Sharmila. The Delhi court had ordered her appearance in connection with her protest at Jantar Mantar.