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Away from Manipur in TN, Irom Sharmila to begin new innings after marriage

Irom Sharmila is getting married to her long-term boyfriend Desmond Coutinho in July in Tamil Nadu.
By Oneindia Staff Writer
Google Oneindia News

Imphal, May 26: Manipur's iconic civil rights activist Irom Sharmila is all set to start a new journey of her life. Away from politics and protests, Sharmila is planning to start a fresh innings of her life after her marriage.

Loneliness of Irom Sharmila: Peace activist spends a quiet birthday in KeralaLoneliness of Irom Sharmila: Peace activist spends a quiet birthday in Kerala

The peace activist, who was on a 16-year-long hunger strike demanding the repeal of draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act till last year, is getting married to her long-term boyfriend Desmond Coutinho, a British citizen with Goan roots in July.

Irom Sharmila

The date is yet to be fixed, Sharmila told reporters. Most likely by July-end, she added. "We have not fixed the date of our marriage yet, but are planning it sometime in July-end in Tamil Nadu," Sharmila recently told Times of India.

After marriage, the 45-year-old is planning to settle down in Tamil Nadu. Sharmila also said that she was quitting politics forever. However, she stressed that family life did not mean that she won't fight for the rights of the people of Manipur as an activist. Sharmila added that her crusade against the AFSPA will continue.

She said, "I will continue my struggle, not as a politician but as a civil activist. After my marriage, I'll lobby international bodies to urge India to scrap the draconian law AFSPA."

Since her "shocking" defeat in the Manipur Assembly elections 2017, where she managed to get just 90 votes, Sharmila is on a tour of south India. In fact, she celebrated her 45th birthday in Kerala on March 14.

Although many in Manipur did not approve of Sharmila's relationship with Coutinho, which started in 2011 as she was lodged in a security ward of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal, a few of her friends and family members have expressed happiness after learning about her proposed marriage.

Her friends from the Peoples' Resurgence and Justice Alliance--the political outfit which Sharmila formed last year after she ended her fast--are happy about her marriage.

PRJA convener Erendro said he was happy to learn about Sharmila's proposed marriage. Her brother Irom Singhajit welcomed the news too. "We are happy, she is the youngest and has the right to marry and we support her wishes," he said.

"I have not yet informed my family, particularly my mother, of my plan to marry. But I'll do so soon. I'll also invite some of my friends and well-wishers," she smiled.

OneIndia News

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