IMPHAL March 13: “Irom Sharmila is a sister, her life is important but we have to think for the interest of the nation”, Okram Ibobi replied to a query from media persons during the formal announcement of his CLP leadership at Congress Bhawan today.
He said that he has worked for the removal of AFSPA way back in 2004 and lifted the implementation of the act from seven assembly segments following the pressure from the public and Sharmila’s own family.
He said that the approach to lift the act from the said areas was met with stiff opposition from the centre including the home ministry. He hinted that the law and order situation in the state has not improved overall so as to pressure the centre to lift the act.
Meanwhile, the “Iron Lady” was freed from judicial custody yesterday and has remained at her support group shelter stationed at Porompat. Talking to media, she had mentioned that her stance has not been given support by the government. She added that her struggle has been sidelined by the government.
She was rearrested today from Porompat by Imphal east police in the afternoon and sent to judicial custody for the next 15 days.
She has entered the 11th year of her fast after the Malom Massacre in November 2,2000. Sharmila is on fast demanding repeal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. Under Section 309 of the IPC, the maximum punishment for trying to commit suicide is one year. Therefore, she is released once every year, only to be re-arrested for continuing the fast.
Meanwhile, to mark her birthday tomorrow, her supporters and family members have planned to light candles in all districts.