IMPHAL, August 21: “I have not had a drop of water for the last 14 years, please help me, I am yearning to have my first meal,” Irom Sharmila said in a press conference at the Manipur Press Club this afternoon. She was meaning that the act should be scrapped at the earliest and let a normalcy return to the state.
This was her first press conference at the Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul.
The hunger striker mentioned that she does not want to be treated like a martyr.
“Please do not put me on a pedestal, I am just a common person fighting for my right to life,” she added,
“I feel like the fight for removal of AFSPA has been left to myself only.” She voiced the need for the public to start realising that removal of the act is not possible by herself.
The need to unite and protest in unison is the need of the hour, it is time that the public come out from the zombic state, she said.
Sharmila was accompanied by several right activists and meira paibis, who also supported her view that the fight against AFSPA need to be strengthened and the civil organisations are ready to spearhead the campaign.
Sharmila further stated that the government is made by the public, the elected leaders are sent as representatives of the people and they too need to lend their voice towards removal of the act.
“When people start taking some money for their votes, this ensures that the right persons are not made representatives and are more interested in other affairs. They are not ones who are mainly concerted at bringing salvation for the public,” she added.
The new NDA government should realise that AFSPA is a draconian law and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi should exert to scrap it, she added.
Replying to a query about the current protest of the Inner Line Permit and the protest for AFSPA, Sharmila said that the issue of ILP is also important. However, the two issues can be combined and a joint struggle can be taken up. “It is for the public to decide, the AFSPA robs people of the right to live, let us unite to campaign and do away with this act once and for all,” Sharmila appealed.