Why did Irom Sharmila call Anna Hazare's fast 'artificial'?

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Anna Hazare and Irom Sharmila
Imphal, Sep 2: Irom Sharmila, who has been fasting for last ten years to repeal AFSPA in Manipur, called Anna Hazare's fast for Lokpal Bill "somewhat artificial".

During an interview with NDTV, Sharmila, who has also been named "Iron Lady", claimed, "Our purpose is very different. It's somewhat artificial, how can we eradicate corruption?"

Showing the basic differences between herself and Anna, Irom Sharmila also added, "Also he is a seasoned social activist. I am a simple woman. I wanted to reform society. I had no idea about social activist or social workers."

Explaining her desire to invite Anna to visit Manipur to support her cause, the Iron Lady said, "I hope Anna is able to come down to Manipur but I cannot press him to do so."

Sharmila had her last voluntary meal on Nov 4, 2000. She started her agitation to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers 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.

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