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Rediff.com  » News » Even after 16 years, Irom Sharmila keeps her mother waiting

Even after 16 years, Irom Sharmila keeps her mother waiting

Last updated on: August 10, 2016 20:54 IST

The iconic activist has said that she won’t go home till the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is repealed.

Manipur’s ‘Iron Lady’ Irom Sharmila, who broke her 16-year-long fast on Tuesday and decided to enter electoral politics, was on Wednesday placed under tight security after some groups opposed her decision even as she asserted that she has been misunderstood.

Sharmila, 44, meanwhile, has been put on special liquid diet and is now under supervision of doctors of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences.

Armed police personnel were posted in the hospital compound in the wake of security threat to the iconic rights activist with some groups opposing her decision to end the fast, a police officer said.

Sharmila also sought to clarify her stand on her move to enter electoral politics.

After ending the fast, Sharmila said she wants to become the chief minister of Manipur so that she could repeal the contentious Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. She undertook the hunger strike in protest against the AFSPA.

“They have misunderstood me, about my real being,” Sharmila said reacting to criticism in some quarters. “They have been seeing me from their own point of view without connecting with what is in my heart,” she added.

Sharmila insisted that her intention was to enter politics to ensure that the AFSPA is repealed.

A senior JNIMS doctor said that Sharmila was under the supervision of their doctors since she had been on a fast for so many years and was not in a position to shift to solid food immediately.

She was being administered liquid diet and perhaps would have to stay in the hospital room for some more days for medical back-up support until she was in a situation to take solid food and recover physically, the doctor said.

Outside the government hospital, a room of which was turned into a jail for her, the activist had turned emotional on Tuesday when she tasted honey to end the fast.

Even after breaking her hunger strike, Sharmila is maintaining her resolve not to clip her nails, comb her hair, go to her house and meet her mother till the AFSPA is repealed.

Despite breaking her fast, the ‘satyagrahi’ made it clear that she would not go home till AFSPA is repealed and preferred to stay in an ashram till then.

Her associates said to avoid any emotional outbursts, Sharmila had not been meeting her mother during the fasting period.

Elder brother Singhajit said their mother is waiting for the moment of her victory which will come only when AFSPA is repealed.

On November 5, 2000, when she took a vow to start an indefinite hunger strike till the government repeals AFSPA, which gives armed forces immunity against prosecution for their actions, her protest had multiple dimensions which went beyond not taking food and water.

The toughest one was not to go home and meet her 84-year-old mother Shakhi Devi till achieving her goal of getting the AFSPA revoked.

Sharmila has not visited her house at Kongpal Kongkham Leikai, on the edge of Imphal city, even once all these years.

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