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Anna campaign 'somewhat artificial': Irom Sharmila

Last updated on: September 1, 2011 20:22 IST

Anna campaign 'somewhat artificial': Irom Sharmila

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Irom Sharmila, who has been on fast close to 11 years to demand the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA) in Manipur, feels Anna Hazare's campaign against corruption is "somewhat artificial."

Called the 'Iron lady of Manipur', 37-year-old Sharmila also urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to treat her like Hazare, who on Sunday ended his 12-day fast against corruption that shook the nation.

"It's (Anna Hazare's movement) somewhat artificial, how can we eradicate corruption? In my case I am a simple woman who wants to reform society. I have no idea about social activists or social workers," she told TV channels.

Sharmila however said she revered the 74-year-old crusader against corruption. She also voiced her disappointment at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not keeping his promise of amending the AFSPA.

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Image: Irom Sharmila

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'They don't like to treat us like Anna'

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"I don't like his (the PM's) leadership. When he couldn't keep his promise, it is a shame". Singh had made the promise in 2004 when he was on a visit to Imphal.

"I would like to request that please sir look at me like Anna Hazare,people of this whole nation just like in God's eyes are equal. So without discrimination treat me," she said, adding "I would just like to request him(the PM) ...change your mindset."

Sharmila claimed that the Union government and its observers feel that north east people are inefficient and that they are not like mainland. "They don't like to treat us like Anna," she added.

Image: Anna Hazare
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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