TODAY -

Day-long fast observed at Jantar Mantar in solidarity
Irom Sharmila completes 12th year of fast

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 05 2012: In commemoration of Sharmila completing 12th year of fast against the infamous Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) on November 5, volunteers and supporters of the Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC) observed a day-long fast at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi yesterday from 9 to 5 pm.

The day-long fast was in solidarity with her 12 years old hunger-protest, an important yet neglected non-violent and democratic struggle in the world's largest democracy and "unfortunately we continue to be oblivious of the young woman who responded to extreme violence with extreme peace", conveyed a press release issued by SSSC.

Various students from colleges and civil rights activists such as writer Pankaj Singh, Mehtab Alam, Social activist Bilal Sultan from J&K and Babloo Loitongbam of Just Peace Foundation, Manipur participated in the solidarity fast.

Devika Mittal, core member of the campaign one of the 12 who sat on the fast remarked, "This is in solidarity with Irom.

We want to send out the message that she is not alone.

We are with her.

We feel for Irom because she is a true democrat and a citizen of this country.

She has every right to be heard.

Her struggle shows her faith in democracy and non-violence.

The Government must initiate talks with her" .



Fast staged at Jantar Mantar to extend solidarity to Sharmila
Fast staged at Jantar Mantar to extend solidarity to Sharmila


Zaheeb Ajmal added, "The Government is ready to talk to terrorists and naxals but they have not initiated any talks with Irom, who has adopted the path of peace and non-violence.

Why? .

Ravi Nitesh, another core member of SSSC, remarked, "It cannot be denied that AFSPA has created problems in Manipur and other AFSPA-imposed states and it ruptured the normal life of people of these states .

Struggle of Irom must be heard and for all this, the Government must open talks with her.

It is shocking that in these 12 years, not a single delegation has been sent to her" .

Volunteers of SSSC also appeals to the Judiciary to respond on this matter.

To this Gufran Khan says, "if the government is not willing to do anything on this aspect, the judiciary must intervene as its about the violation of human lives" .

In another step to highlight the struggle, SSSC had also organised an article-series on Irom Sharmila wherein articles were invited from the public and were published on the website.

12 articles were selected and one article was published every day to symbolize one year of fast.

This would conclude today.

Maximum number of volunteers and supporters who sat on fast were youths.

They all were in favor of peace and democracy.

The sit-in place were decorated with posters of Irom Sharmila, designed by various artists.

They placed slogans for Irom.

Handwritten placards and slogans were truly reflecting the pure and dedicated work of volunteers.

Slogans included "12 Years of Struggle now, When will we speak for her?".

In one poster, AFSPA was defined as "Autocratic Freedom Sanctioned by Parliament for the Army".

During this one day fast, a memorandum was also submitted to Prime Minister of India with a copy to Ministry of Home Affairs and NHRC to demand the Government to initiate dialogue with her.

Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign(SSSC) is a nation-wide struggle against the neglect and suppression of Irom Sharmila, a Manipuri poet-activist who has been on a hunger-protest for 12 years now, on a protest against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA) in Manipur.

For this, SSSC has in the past, organized various events such as candle vigils, documentary sessions, public awareness rallies, press conferences, sit in protests, delegation meets with NHRC and memorandum to Prime minister etc, added the press release.


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