Irom Sharmila has been on a protest fast for the past six years; since 2nd November 2000, when security forces killed innocent villagers in Malom, Manipur. About three weeks later, she was arrested and charged with attempted suicide: the authorities in Manipur have since been force-feeding her through a nasal tube. Sharmila was released on October 3rd from judicial custody, and on Friday, October 4th (last Friday), she was smuggled out of Imphal, and began her protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.
On Friday night, she was moved to AIIMS by the police. This morning, The Hindu carried a report by Siddharth Varadarajan, that the Justice Jeevan Reddy Commission, tasked with reviewing the provisions of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), feels that it should be repealed. The report quotes the Commission as saying:
The Act is too sketchy, too bald and quite inadequate in several particulars.[…]the Act, for whatever reason, has become a symbol of oppression, an object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high-handedness.[…]It is highly desirable and advisable to repeal the Act altogether, without, of course, losing sight of the overwhelming desire of an overwhelming majority of the [North-East] region that the Army should remain (though the Act should go).
* Announcement: There is to be a peaceful protest in Bangalore, in solidarity with Sharmila, urging the state to repeal the AFSPA. 2nd of November, 2006, at 5pm, at the Gandhi statue, MG Road.