People from all walks of life on Monday, Apr 25 gathered at the Dighalipukhuri area in Guwahati and took part in a candlelight vigil to extend support to the Manipuri girl who has been observing fast from last 10 years.
Enlightening their demands, supporters of the "Iron lady" stated, "The country has failed to understand her. Is there any record of 10-year-long fast anywhere in the world, even during the Independence movement?" (Has India ignored other Anna Hazares?)
While Anna Hazare held his 5-day long fast for drafting an anti-corruption bill, Irom Sharmila started her agitation to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers (AFSP) Act, which gives the military powers such as the right to arrest suspected militants without a warrant and to shoot anyone suspected of being a rebel.
Armed Forces Special Powers Act is being implemented in the terrorism dominated states in India and the soldiers are bestowed with tremendous power to tackle the militants. Sharmila lives in Manipur, the north east state which faces enough trouble - both from the army and the militants. Experiencing the draw-backs of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Sharmila began her long-battle to protest the anti-terror law.
It seems that Irom Sharmila's struggle remained unheard or has not received much media attention as she is protesting from an ignored state of the country. If she had held the hunger-strike from a metro city like Delhi, she also might have won like Anna Hazare.