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Activist Irom Sharmila ends her 16-year-long fast, wants to become Manipur CM

Sharmila has been appealing to all sections of the people to support her cause. But except for some reporters, there is nobody to meet her when she goes to the court every 15 days.

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Irom Sharmila. Image source: www.freeshareknowshare.com

On Tuesday, August 9, Irom Sharmila Manipuri activist ended her 16-year-long fast against the imposition of the “draconian” in her state AFSPA announced that she wants to join politics and become Chief Minister.

Sharmila, who has been on fast unto death since 2000 to demand the lifting of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from Manipur, got emotional as she licked some honey to mark the ending of her fast.

Irom Chanu Sharmila, Wikimedia Commons
Irom Chanu Sharmila, Image source:  Wikimedia Commons

Earlier, doctors removed the nasal feeding tube that was used to force feed her.

Speaking to reporters, including from the foreign media, Sharmila said: “I will never forget this moment.”

She said she will use everything in her power to create a positive society and the “foremost will be the removal of this draconian (AFSPA) law”. The AFSPA gives sweeping powers to security forces.

“I want to be the CM of Manipur to help the people,” she said.

Asked to comment on the ongoing protests in Jammu and Kashmir, Sharmila said “Let the Kashmiris have the right of self-determination”.

Asked where she will stay now, Sharmila said she will stay in an ashram. She has been living at the J.N. Institute of Medical Sciences for the last 16 years where she was being fed through a nasal tube.

Her mother Sakhi has refused to meet her while her elder brother I. Shinghajit, in an open letter, made an impassioned appeal to her to continue the fast.

Sharmila said she will see her mother only after AFSPA has been repealed from her state.

Earlier, Sharmila told a court that she wants to end her fast. She was released on bail on Tuesday by L. Tonsing, chief judicial magistrate, Imphal west, where she was produced. She also signed a bond for Rs 10,000.

She told newspersons that she will contest the 2017 assembly elections from Khurai Assembly constituency as an independent.

Reports say that some local and national parties have sent feelers to her. She has not responded yet.

Doctors are not allowing her to eat normal solid food immediately. One doctor said: “As she has been staying away from normal solid food for over 16 years, we have to take a step by step approach. It will take some days for her to resume normal food.”

It was announced that Sharmila will stay in the hospital for the next three days under medical supervision. During the time, she will be administered solid food gradually and her health closely monitored.

Sharmila began her hunger strike in November 2000 following the killing of 10 civilians by security forces.

She was arrested by the Manipur government the same year on charges of attempting to commit suicide.

She has always denied the charge, saying she is using the fast as a weapon.

As the prosecution failed to prove that she was trying to kill herself, the Chief Judicial Magistrate had ordered on February 29, 2016, that she be freed.

She was rearrested on the same charge as she continued the fast.

Sharmila has been appealing to all sections of the people to support her cause. But except for some reporters, there is nobody to meet her when she goes to the court every 15 days. (IANS)

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  • AJ Krish

    If sixteen years of protest against the government didn’t work, then join the system and change the laws from within.

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Devendra Fadnavis Sworn-in as Maharashtra Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra & Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar as the new Deputy Chief Minister

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Chief Minister of Maharashtra taking oath
Hon Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of Chief Minister of Maharashtra to Shri Devendra Fadnavis and Deputy CM to Shri Ajit Pawar.

In a stunning political development, Maharashtra Governor B.S. Koshyari on Saturday morning administered the oath of office to Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar as the new Deputy Chief Minister.

The two were sworn-in at a function in the Raj Bhavan held around 8 a.m. in the presence of a few BJP and NCP leaders, and other government officials.

Soon afterwards, Fadnavis said that the Governor would give them a letter instructing when to prove the new government’s majority on the floor of the Assembly.

He added that the cabinet would be expanded at a later date.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed his best wishes to Fadnavis for taking over as the CM for a second consecutive term, and to Pawar on his appointment as Dy.CM.

A letter was issued from Union Home Ministry simultaneously that said that President’s Rule was lifted from Maharashtra.

Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis
Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis taking oath.

Speaking to the media, Fadnavis said that after the elections, the Shiv Sena which had secured a clear majority in alliance with BJP rejected the public mandate and was engaged in forming the government with some other parties necessitating President’s Rule in Maharashtra.

Since it did not appear possible for those three parties to form a ‘khichdi’ (hotch-potch’) government and in order to provide a stable government to the state the decision was taken.

“Along with Ajit Pawar and support of others, we submitted a list to the Governor who discussed the issue with the centre to conclude that a viable government could be formed,” Fadnavis said.

Accordingly, after discussing with the Centre, the Governor invited Fadnavis and Pawar to form the government which was sworn-in.

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On his part, Ajit Pawar said that giving the state a stable government was the need of the hour which did not appear to be happening.

“I was tired of the continuous negotiations going on and so decided to go with Fadnavis and give a stable government to the state,” Pawar said. (IANS)