`The support of people keeps me going`, Irom Sharmila

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By Chitra Ahanthem
IMPHAL, January 11: In an interaction with IFP, Irom Sharmila who has been on an indefinite fast since November 2000 calling for the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act said that she derives great moral support from the people who write to her and send her their support. “When people write to me saying they are moved by my fast, it moves me greatly that they would take out time from their lives and write to me and express their solidarity with the people of Manipur. It is their support that keeps me going,” said Irom Sharmila. She was being produced at the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, at Lamphel today.

Irom Sharmila further went on to say that EKTA(unity), a resource center for women in Madurai in Tamil Nadu sent her a letter of support signed by 2118 people after taking up a campaign in which the group reached out to students and grassroots organizations demanding for the repeal of the Armed Forces Powers Act. In the letter addressed to Irom Sharmila, which was handed to this reporter, representatives of EKTA said that their campaign was started in November, 2011 under which a handbill about the 11 year fast undertaken by Irom Sharmila was distributed. “We sincerely hope that the Government of India would take cognizance of the feelings expressed by people from all walks of life to repel this draconian act and retain the spirit of democracy in our country,” said the signed letter.

She also expressed her appreciation to the Student Christian Movement of India, based in Bangalore, which also sent in a letter of support of her demand for the removal of AFSPA.

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