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Sharmila’s Fast Is A Crime, Says Ibobi

IMPHAL, Mar 17: The fast unto death agitation being taken up by Irom Chanu Sharmila is against the law. Therefore, in accordance to law, she is being released after completing her detention period and will be rearrested if she continues with her stir, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, who is also in charge of the Home, has informed the State Assembly today.

In the question hour session of the Assembly today, MLA K Sarat demanded to know how many years has been kept under judicial custody and what policy the Government has taken up in connection with the case of Sharmila who has been demanding repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958.

Responding to the query of K Sarat, the Chief Minister informed the House that Sharmila has completed fasting for 9 years and 10 months.

Stating that the Govt has been making every possible effort to restore peace and protect the human rights of every citizen, the Chief Minister asserted that it is a crime to take up fast in pursuance of a demand. As the Government cannot remain silence over such crimes, she is being nose-fed in judicial custody and in accordance to law, she is being released after completion of her detention period and then arrest her if she continues the fast, the Chief Minister said.

When K Sarat further questioned why can’t the Government, which is considered the custodian of the its people, take up some concrete measures to ensure that Sharmila does not continue with her fast, the Chief Minister informed the House that though no direct talk with Sharmila to prevail upon her to give up her fast had been carried out, there have been instances in the past in which she was appealed to end her fast so that her strength and knowledge could be utilized in other issues of the State.

There was also an instance in which a man who identified himself as a brother of Sharmila approached with the request for lifting Armed Forces Special Powers Act from at least some part of the State so as to save the life of his sister. To that assurances have been given for doing the needful, the Chief Minister said. It was not long after the visit of the said brother of Sharmila that a Cabinet meeting had been convened and took the decision of lifting the Act from seven Assembly segments of Imphal Municipal area.

Consequently, Sharmila had been appealed to give up her fast since the Act had been lifted from seven Assembly segments. But she insisted that the Act should be lifted from entire Manipur, the Chief Minister said.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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