Sharmila accuses Centre of “double standards”
IMPHAL: Irom Sharmila, who has been on a fast-unto-death since November 2, 2000 demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958, has charged the Government of India with adopting “double standards.” She pointed out that the Centre had yielded to the demands of social activist Anna Hazare on the Lokpal Bill after he had been on hunger strike for only five days. Ms. Sharmila was produced in the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Imphal East for further judicial remand. She said despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself terming the AFSPA a draconian law, the Centre had been turning a blind eye to her campaign. She recalled that a commission headed by Justice Jeevan Reddy had recommended the repeal of the Act. Ms. Sharmila, who said she would continue the fast, has been arrested and detained under Section 309 of the IPC (attempt to commit suicide).
Treated as criminal
Sobita Mangsatabam, an activist, said that while Mr. Hazare was lionised Ms. Sharmila was treated as a criminal. The relay hunger strike by women activists of the “Save Sharmila Group” crossed 1,000 days recently.