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Congress throws doors open for Irom Sharmila

Indian human rights activist Irom Sharmila speaks to the media outside a prison hospital in Imphal

Imphal (Manipur): Praising Irom Sharmila for her determination, the Congress on Tuesday hinted that the grand old party will welcome the iron lady of Manipur in their party, if she wishes to join the political outfit.

Manipur Congress president T.N. Haokip hailed Sharmila’s decision to contest elections and said that the latter is a determined person who will sticks by her commitments.

“We know she is a very determined and committed person. Once she takes a decision she will stand by it. Her becoming a part of Congress is a decision of the election committee. We will welcome her if she wishes to join our party,” Haokip told ANI here.

After being on fast for the last 16 years demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, Manipur’s ‘Iron Lady’ Irom Chanu Sharmila is all set to end her fast today.

The 42-year-old Irom has been on a hunger strike since November 2000.

Irom began her hunger strike to protest against the death of 10 Manipuris who were shot dead by the Assam Rifles in Imphal.

Sharmila was arrested and released from jail several times under Section 309 for attempted suicide.

According to reports, Sharmila had earlier rejected Aam Aadmi Party’s offer to contest Lok Sabha elections under its banner from the inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat in 2014.

Despite repeated calls to withdraw the AFSPA from UN experts as well as national and international groups, the Act continues to be enforced. (ANI)

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