NEW DELHI, Aug 28: Showing solidarity to Irom Chanu Sharmila in her decade-long struggle for the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 from Manipur, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan said, “AFSPA must be repealed. I support Irom Sharmila. I don’t think there is any provision in the Indian constitution to deny meeting with people in custody.”
The coordinator of Just Peace Foundation, Seram Rojesh briefed Bollywood actor Aamir Khan at Ramleela ground in New Delhi on Saturday about the condition of Irom Sharmila who has been on fast for the last 10 years.
“Sharmila will complete 11 years of fast on November 4, 2011. She is not even allowed to meet people freely including her family members by imposing strictures by the government. It takes many months to get clearance from the government even to meet her. In other part of India, even criminals are allowed to meet without any restriction. But in case of Manipur, it is totally different. She has been put into isolation. I don’t think there is any provision in the Indian constitution to deny meeting with people in custody. We don’t know why government put such restrictions on her. She is fighting for the repeal AFSPA”, Rojesh told Aamir.
Aamir responded that AFSPA has no place in the present democratic society and Sharmila should never be treated in such manner.
JPF: You had visited Medha Patkar when she was fasting at Jantra Mantra in 2004. Now you have come here at Ramlila to support Anna Hazare for the cause of Jan Lokpal. But, why have you not ever visited Irom Sharmila who has been fasting for more than 10 years? She was fasting for almost 6 months in Delhi in 2006. Do you also belong to those people in India who think that she is not part of the Indian society?
Aamir: (Thinking seriously) No! No! I will think about it. That is not the case. She is part of our society. I don’t know whether my visit will help her or not.
JPF: It will definitely help her in her struggle against AFSPA.
Aamir: Let me sort out other ways which I can do for Irom Sharmila. You can also tell me what I can do for her.
Swati (One member of India Against Corruption): Why don’t you write something about her or appeal to the people?
Aamir: Yes, I will do.
JPF: How do you think about AFSPA?
Aamir: AFSPA must be repealed. I support Irom Sharmila.
Another film actor Raja Bundella said, “I know she has been fasting so long and people in this country do not extend support to her. It is sad. We should support her. I came to know about her in more details from one of the program broadcast by Times Now recently. AFSPA is like army rule. It should be repealed. What makes India different from Pakistan, Afghanistan and China with the imposition of such act? It is really sad to see what is happening in Kashmir”.
Eminent film director, Rajkumar Hirani also extended his support to Irom Sharmila.
He said, “She would be living with painful life. I should definitely do something for her. I don’t know much about the cause she is fighting. Please send me through mail about the struggle she is fighting for. We will do definitely”.
Jan Sangharsh Morcha, a Civil society organization’s national spokesperson, Dinker kapoor also informed that the organization have also taken a decision to support Irom Sharmilla and her cause. Interacting with around 30 print and electronic media with JPF, after the closing program, they informed that they would also want to support to Irom Sharmila if there is any program organizes in Delhi.
Well known sociologist, Dr. Yogendra Yadav said about Irom Sharmila that it was very sad that she remains unnoticed by the people in general. It was because of the insensitivity of the people in general in this country. This movement would definitely strengthen the movement for the cause Irom Sharmila’s struggle. AFSPA should be repealed. AFSPA is very much against the movement for democracy in India. Social Activist Medha Patkar also informed HPF that they would extend their support for the fight against AFSPA.”