I want to vote, says Sharmila

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IMPHAL, April 11: “I want to vote,” Sharmila told the waiting media persons as she came out of the court room today.

Sharmila expressed her desire to exercise her franchise as a voter on April 17 inner parliamentary election.

She had made her routine appearance before the Judicial Magistrate 1st Class/Imphal East, Lamphelpat.

Sharmila who was brought from the JNIMS Security Ward by the jail authorities, was not granted any formal approval to meet media persons by the JMIC/IE

Politicians of both the ruling and opposition parties make promises of repealing Armed Forces Special Powers’ Act during elections, she asserted. However, the Act continues to be implemented, she lamented.

Sharmila also expressed her desire to see two of her books of poems to be translated into English by Dr Soibam Ibocha Singh, IPS.

It may be mentioned that Dr Soibam Ibocha Singh had translated APJ Abdul Kalam’s “Wings of Fire” into Manipuri for which he received a Sahitya AKademi Award in 2013.

NNN adds: When media persons queried to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) this afternoon whether Irom Sharmila will be allowed to cast vote on April 17, the officer responded in negative.

According to the CEO, people who are in jail or prisoners are not allowed to vote under the Representation of the People`s Act, 1951 Section 62 Clause 5. But people under Preventive Detention such as under National Security Act (NSA) they can vote.

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