Human rights activist, Sharmila Irom, has come out to explain why she went into an intense hunger strike which lasted for a period of 16 years.
Irom, who is 44 years of age began abstaining feeding on November 2, 2000. This was after seeing soldiers murder ten people at a bus-stop close to her residence.
An offence considered as severe as committing murder.
Nicknamed the “Ironlady of Manipur”, Sharmila Irom has received various international prizes for her resistance such as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Asian Human Rights Commission.
In 2013, Amnesty International also declared her a Prisoner of Conscience.
Irom, who was forcefully fed through a nasal tube was discharged and acquitted on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 by a court Magistrate.
She used the opportunity to explain why she took such an extreme measure for those number of years.
“I went on a fast for about 16 years thinking I could change the system, but I now realize that this will not yield any result.”
“So I decided to end my fast and join politics and then fight for the cause that I undertook this mission for justice.”
“I would like to marry my fiance, a British national of Indian origin who I met after starting my fast”, she said.
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