Imphal: Irom Sharmila, Manipur's 'Iron Lady', on Monday completed 12 years of protest demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). On an indefinite fast, Sharmila, who is force-fed through the nose to keep her alive began her fast till death after ten persons, including a boy who received the national bravery award, were shot dead in an alleged encounter with Assam Rifles personnel at Malom near Imphal airport on November 2, 2000.
A newspaper columnist and social worker then, Sharmila, went on fast on November 5 that year demanding repeal of AFSPA. She was arrested a day later and charged with attempt to commit suicide. Since then she has been produced in court from time to time, rearrested and produced again in court.
She is force fed at a government hospital at Porompat where the ward she is in has been converted into a jail. Sharmila has received several global awards and several prominent personalities from different parts of the country have visited her in support of her demands.
Her brother and spokesman Irom Singhajit said social organisations including Just Peace Foundation would hold candlelight demonstrations in Imphal while public discussions would be held during the day. Official sources said security and police forces would be deployed in various parts of the city as a precautionary measure.