Manipuri rights activist Irom Sharmila , who has been demanding the repeal of controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers Act ( AFSPA), has decided to break her fast of 16 years and said she will fight elections instead.
"I will break my fast as the government has failed to give any positive response. I will fight elections to resolve the issues," she said on Tuesday. She will break her fast on August 9. Assembly elections in Manipur are scheduled in 2017.
Irom has been on a hunger strike since November 2000, when 10 civilians were killed by security forces at a bus stop near Imphal airport. The fasting agitator, who is being fed through a nasal tube, has justified using the fast as a weapon to achieve her goal of repealing AFSPA.
"Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, had resorted to fasts while making certain demands," she has said. She had been arrested, released and then re-arrested from time to time on the charge of making an attempt to commit suicide.
The 44-year-old told a district court in Manipur today that she would end her fast on August 9. She also informed the court - where she is required to mark attendance every 15 days - that she wants to marry.
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