Guwahati: Over 50 civil society groups under the People’s Forum for Democracy (PFD) will come together on November 3 to launch a nationwide signature campaign in support of iron lady Irom Sharmila’s demand for revoked the Armed Forces ( Special Powers) Act, 1958 ( AFSPA) in the Northeast.
The PFD on Monday said that it will observe November 2 as ‘Black Law Protest Day’ to mark the completion of 11 years of protest by Sharmila. The PFD will also stage a token fast for 24 hours on the same day.
“Sharmila’s fast is not only remarkable but it is an indication of the indifference of the Indian government towards the northeastern region. She is being force-fed for 11 years. But the government could not break her determination,” said Dilip Bora, chairman of PFD.
Earlier on October 15, a delegation from the PFD went to Imphal to meet the iron lady although the state government refused them permission.
The Just Peace Foundation of Manipur has also extensive its support to the cause and Sharmila’s brother Sinha Jit, has also agreed his assent that he will take part in the campaign personally.
On November 2, 2000, in Malom, a village near the Imphal airport, 10 civilians, comprising 18-year old Sinam Chandramani, a 1988 National Child Bravery Award winner, were killed by the Assam Rifles, while waiting at a bus stop.
Instantly, Sharmila began her fast in protest against the killings, declining food and water. Three days after she began her hunger-strike, she was arrested by the police and charged with an attempt to commit suicide and was afterwards transferred to judicial custody.