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Irom Sharmila Chanu

Irom Sharmila Chanu is a civil rights activist, political activist, and poet. Irom Sharmila Chanu was born on 14 March 1972 in Manipur. She is also known as the "Iron Lady of Manipur" for her ongoing hunger strike since 2000 against Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. From 2 November 2000, she began a hunger strike which is still ongoing. Her protest has won her worldwide recognition, with Amnesty International describing her as a prisoner of conscience.

After completing school, Sharmila joined a course in journalism. She began writing articles and poetry, and worked with social organizations. On 2nd November 2000 in an incident known as "Malom Massacre", Indian paramilitary force Assam Rifle killed 10 innocent people including 18 year old Sinam Chandramani, a National Child Bravery Award winner of 1988. At that time Sharmila was in Malom town preparing for a peace rally. Three days after that incident she began her strike taking neither food nor water. Three days after she began her strike, she was arrested by the police and charged with an "attempt to commit suicide" and was later transferred to judicial custody. Sharmila has been regularly released and re-arrested since then.

She has been awarded with Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in 2007. She is also receiver of Mayillama Award of the Mayilamma Foundation and lifetime achievement award from the Asian Human Rights Commission.

On 19th August, 2014 A local court of Manipur ordered release of Irom Sharmila, dismissing that she was attempting to commit suicide by way of hunger strike. She released from jail on next day. She said that she will continue hunger strike against Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

 




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