Hearing of the case against Irom Sharmila, who has been on fast-unto-death since November 4, 2000 will begin on May 13.

Disclosing this official sources said that the charge sheet was framed and submitted to the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Imphal East. Ms. Sharmila was produced in the court on Friday. Judge A. Naotunshori remanded her to judicial custody.

Sharmila has been demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. She was traumatised by the alleged excesses by the personnel of armed forces. There is a provision in the AFSPA which says that the State government cannot prosecute any personnel without first obtaining sanction from the Union government. Despite numerous cases of excesses no such sanction was accorded since the higher-ups are of the view that prosecution of defence personnel will cause general demoralisation of the rank and file and this will be a stumbling block to counter-insurgency operations.

Ms. Sharmila is charged with attempting to commit suicide. Under this Act she can be detained for one year at one go. At the end of each year she is released only to be rearrested after some hours since she continues the fast.

Talking to reporters, Ms Sharmila said it was ridiculous that she was charged with attempting to commit suicide.

Keywords: AFSPAIrom Sharmila