The next iron lady? After Irom Sharmila, another Manipuri woman to sit on indefinite hunger strike

 

Days after iconic rights activist Irom Sharmila ended her 16-year-old hunger strike, a 32-year-old woman from Manipur on Friday vowed to carry forward the protest against Afspa with an indefinite fast.

A mother of two girls, Arambam Robita Leima said she would launch her fast-unto-death at 10 am on Saturday at a community hall in Imphal West district. She said she was not only demanding repeal of the “draconian” Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), but also the implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in the state.

Robita said she has deep regards for Irom Sharmila and now wanted to continue her fight against Afspa. Leaders of several civil women organisations like Organisation for Indian Women Against Crime (OIWAC) and Salai Apunba Lup, requested her not to embark on an indefinite fasting and appealed to her to think about her two daughters Diamond (10) and Tamphamani (4). However, Robita is standing firm on her decision.

Changing her strategy from a civilian protest to taking the political route for the removal of Afspa from the north eastern states, Sharmila ended her 16-year-old fast on 9 August and said she wanted to become the chief minister to achieve her goal.

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