Peace activist Irom Sharmila extends her support to Kanhaiya Kumar, Rohith Vemula

By: Maitreyee Boruah
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The nation is witnessing a surge in students' movements. Campuses across the country are echoing with voices demanding justice for the marginalized communities.

Be it the students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi protesting on the streets to demand their right to dissent after the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, or young activists from Hyderabad raising slogans demanding justice for Rohith Vemula, youngsters of the country are no longer mute spectators.

Irom Sharmila

Along with getting support from various corners from across the globe, many people (especially the ruling political class) have also criticized the dissenting voices as anti-nationals. Several students of the JNU are currently facing sedition charges.

The legendary Manipuri activist and poet Irom Chanu Sharmila has extended her solidarity to the progressive movements started by the students of the JNU and the University of Hyderabad (UoH), Hyderabad.

The peace activist has been on a fast-unto-death since November 4, 2000, demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives carte blanche to the security forces while combating the insurgents.

In a video, posted by The India Express, Irom says, "I think the building of a university is like a temple for the young minds. Why should the government and the concerned authorities restrict open debate? I extend my solidarity to JNU and UoH students' progressive movements. I want justice for RohithVemula and all the other students."

On Wednesday (February 2), the activist was once again arrested by the state police after she had resumed her fast on February 29.

The fresh arrest of Sharmila came after she was acquitted of suicide charges by a court in Imphal on February 29. On that very day she resumed her non-violent protest at BT Park in Imphal.

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