Sharmila Campaign To Journey From Srinagar To Imphal In September- Activists, Writers, Institutes Close Ranks

IMPHAL, Jul 4: As part of the Save Sharmila Campaign, an unprecedented nation-wide march from Srinagar to Imphal would be undertaken in September.

Human rights activist and journalist Mohammad Tanver Iqbal has stated that many people remain unaware of Sharmila’s unsurpassed grit and determination because of lack of publicity.

Speaking to media persons at the Kwakeithel residence of Babloo Loitongbam, Director Human Rights Alert today, Mohammad Tanver Iqbal said that the Save Sharmila Campaign is being undertaken in solidarity to Irom Sharmila‘s 10 years long crusade against Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

The campaign is a joint initiative of the National Alliance of Peoples’ Movement (NAPM), Asha Parivar, Gandhi Global Family, Jagriti Mahila Samiti, Khudai Khidmatgar, Yuva Koshish, Mission Bhar-tiyam, Sadbhav Mission and the Asian Centre for Social Studies.

Observing that Sharmila’s 10 year old struggle is the most non-violent mode of Satyagraha espoused by Gandhian philosophy, Tanver Iqbal decried the Government of India’s total indifference to such a long and unparalleled democratic protest.

On the other hand, the Government of India opened avenues when some terrorists, Naxalites or Sadhus went for hunger strike, he remarked.

Even as the Government of Manipur has been forced feeding Sharmila, all political parties of the country should send their delegates to take note of Sharmila’s health condition as well as her genuine demands.

The National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Women too must share some concerns by visiting the lone crusader.

A special team of doctors should be sent from Delhi to examine the health condition of Sharmila, Tanver Iqbal demanded.

As part of the Save Sharmila Campaign, a candle light prayer session, participated by around 200 people was held at Rajghat, New Delhi at 6 pm of June 25.

In addition, around 1000 people lit candles on the same day in solidarity to Sharmila’s campaign through social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter etc. Moreover, civil societies and institutions like JNU, JMI, DU, Hamdard, AIIMS, IIT etc supported the campaign.

Eminent personalities of the country including Taslima Nasreen, Pritish Nandy, Calamur, Nelim Dutta and Sudhir Tailang have also sent messages of solidarity to Sharmila’s campaign.

Outlining the campaign’s future course of action, Tanver Iqbal said that letters highlighting Sharmila’s health condition would be sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Opposition leaders on July 9.  This would be followed by a meeting at Doda, Jammu and Kashmir on July 24.

A Nation-wide signature campaign would be carried out on October 2.  In September, an unprecedented journey of solidarity would be undertaken either in bus or train from Imphal crossing several States on the way, stated Tanver Iqbal.

He said that the campaign is aimed at informing the whole world about Sharmila’s 10 year old democratic crusade against the infamous AFSPA.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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