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Irom Sharmila warned against contesting elections, marrying ‘outsider’

Irom Sharmila

A Manipur-based radical social organisation has warned activist Irom Sharmila, who recently decided to end her 16-year-old fast against alleged army atrocities, against contesting elections and marrying an “outsider”.

The proscribed group ‘Alliance for Socialist Unity Kangleipak’ said that “some former revolutionary leaders were assassinated” after moving away from the cause and participating in public life. “All those who joined electoral politics did so knowing well that it was a dead-end,” ASUK chairman N Oken and vice-chairman Ksh Lab Meitei said in a statement.

The duo also cautioned Sharmila against marrying a “non-local”.

It may be noted that Sharmila is in a relationship with a Goan-British activist, Desmond Coutinho.

“Even though the man is an NRI, he is still an Indian in the eyes of the people of Kangleipak (core of Manipur),” the statement said.

The outfit said the Indian intelligence agencies could have planted the NRI to weaken Sharmila’s fight against AFSPA and “colonial domination”.

As per the report, the ASUK is fighting for a sovereign Manipur.

Sharmila, 44, had announced on July 26 that she would end her hunger strike against AFSPA on August 9.

The “Iron Lady of Manipur” started her strike on November 5, 2000, three days after she allegedly saw a group of army men kill 10 people at a bus stop in Malom near her home.

Sharmila, who has spent most of the last 16 years in custody in an Imphal hospital, is to be released on August 9.

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