Irom Sharmila released after eight years

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Imphal, Mar 8 (ANI): Authorities in Manipur have released Human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila, who has been on a continuous fast for the past nine years demanding complete withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958.

The 36-year-old Sharmila began her fast in 2000 to protest against human rights abuses. But she was soon arrested and charged with attempted suicide.

Sharmila has since been force-fed by nasal tube in a government-run hospital in Imphal.

She had said she would fast until the government repeals the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), which gives soldiers sweeping powers to kill suspected rebels.

Sharmila vowed to continue with her struggle.

"The AFSPA will surely be repealed. My stand, which is my self-conscience, has taken in a right way. I won't stop my movement," she said.

Sharmila has become an iconic figure for the people of Manipur since launching her hunger strike after soldiers shot ten young men at a bus stop in a small town there. (ANI)

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