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Manipur activist Irom Sharmila arrested yet again

Last updated on: August 22, 2014 13:05 IST

Two days after she was released on court orders, civil rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila was re-arrested by the police on fresh charges of attempt to commit suicide and forcibly taken away to a city hospital from a makeshift shelter where she was continuing her fast on Friday.

“We have re-arrested her this morning and will produce her in the Chief Judicial Magistrate court later in the day on charges of attempt to commit suicide (Section 309 of IPC),” Manipur  Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) Santosh Macherla said.

A local court in Imphal had on Tuesday absolved 42-year-old Sharmila of charges of attempt to commit suicide by means of fasting after which she walked out of a hospital-turned-prison on Wednesday.

“The court released her for her past act. Now she is again refusing to take food and water and resisting any medical check-up as well. Her health is deteriorating and now she will be kept at the same Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital ward where she was kept earlier,” Macherla said. Her medical check-up will be done and she will be force fed once again through nose, he said.

Earlier in the day, she was forcibly taken away by the police to a city hospital from a makeshift shelter outside the hospital where she was continuing her fast after being released from detention.

Women police personnel took her to Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Science and Hospital for a medical-check-up after she refused to eat or drink, the police said.

Before she was whisked away this morning, officials had said that her condition was deteriorating.

They said doctors tried to feed her through nose but she refused and her health was deteriorating very fast.

The activist had refused to take food even after being released. The hospital where she was taken on Friday had served as her make-shift prison in the last several years.

Sharmila has been fasting for the last 14 years demanding the withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers (Assam and Manipur) Act 1958.

After her release on Wednesday, Sharmila had begun her fast at a place near the hospital.

Even after her release, the former journalist-cum-social activist had decided to keep her vow of neither entering her house nor meeting her mother till the government repeals AFSPA. “I will continue to fast till my demand (withdrawal of AFSPA) is met. The order of the sessions court that I am not attempting to commit suicide (by launching fast to remove the controversial Act) is welcome,” she had said.

She had launched her fast unto death on November 2000 after Assam Rifles killed 10 persons at Malom area in an alleged encounter with insurgents. For the last many years, she was released from time to time and rearrested again and again under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code for attempting to commit suicide.

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