Women bring out rally in support of rights activist Sharmila Chanu in Orissa

Bhubaneswar, Nov 3 (ANI): A women's group in Bhubaneswar staged a protest in support of Manipur civil rights activist Sharmila Chanu, who completed ten years of fasting over a demand to repeal the controversial and draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

Shouted anti- central government slogans and burning effigy of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, the women said they support Chanu's cause and would fight for her.

"Sharmila Chanu was kept in house arrest in Manipur. She is struggling for her people from past ten years and she is on hunger strike. The police force is trying feed her through food pipe. We want that her demand should be fulfilled and the police should stop torturing her," said Hena Badi.

On November 2, 2000 Chanu, a Manipuri poet decided to go on a hunger strike after the Indian Army massacred ten civilians in Malom, Manipur. On November 6 she was arrested by the police and charged with attempt to commit suicide under section 307 of the Indian Penal Code.

Her health deteriorated gradually and she did not accept even a single drop of water.

On November 21 2000 a plastic tube was inserted into her nose and liquid nutrient was inserted into her body. She has been surviving on this liquid diet and in solitary confinement as a high security prisoner for the last nearly ten years.

Though state chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, tried to bring the situation under control by withdrawing the AFSPA from seven Assembly segments in August 12, 2004, however, this gesture failed to satisfy Chanu.

She has clearly left the government with no choice but to repeal the law which may, as per government, bring undue advantage to the extremists groups operating in the state. (ANI)

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