Sharmila urges Just Peace Foundation not to file any defamation suit against NDTV

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IMPHAL, November 21: Irom Sharmila has urged the Just Peace Foundation not to file any defamation suit against NDTV in connection with the stories based on her recent interview with the news channel, which the foundation claimed contained distortion of facts to malign its reputation.

Sharmila made the request during an interaction with media persons today after she was produced before the JMIC, Imphal East for her routine appearance. She was further remanded to judicial custody for another 15 days by the court.

Outside the court, Sharmila expressed her disapproval to the decision of the trust to file a defamation case against the NDTV and seeking compensation from the channel. She made an appeal to the trust to drop the plan.

On the other hand, a trustee of the JPF asserted that it will be going ahead with the decision to level defamation suit against the news channel, informing that the action will be initiated within a couple of days.

He said the JPF has not change its position on NDTV and still holds the news item with condemnation. However, he said the trust appreciated the clarifications made by Sharmila and clearly made the point that it never wanted to interfere with her personal relationship and will follow the same policy in the future. The issues the trust have is with NDTV and not with Sharmila, he said.

Meanwhile, Sharmila told the media persons that she does not want that anybody is hurt. Her agitation is a non-violent movement for the repeal of AFSPA and with the support and encouragement of the people and the society, her struggle will be a democratic one, she added.

What she expressed during the controversial interview with the NDTV reporter came out automatically from her heart, she said. Banning news channel or burning copies of newspaper is disheartening, she stated recalling the sadness she had experienced when copies of a national newspaper carrying her photograph and story was burned over some controversy.

She further pointed out that one of the misunderstandings between the trust members and the NDTV report was about the question whether she was allowed to donate her money on tragedies like the Uttarkhand Flash Flood. She explained that the reporter mentioned the phrase ‘tragedies like Uttarkhand Flash Flood’ and not the particular disaster, so she replied in the positive. She said overall she did not find too much wrong with the content of the news items.

However, she categorically denied having used the word ‘hijack’ and added that she had no idea in what context of the news item the word were inserted.

Clarifying on the issue of ‘honour killing’, Sharmila said she never indicted the trust for the threat, rather it was directed to an individual.

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