Irom Sharmila's success lies in initiating debate over AFSPA, says Soni Sori

Updated - September 18, 2016 04:30 pm IST

Published - July 27, 2016 05:22 pm IST - Kolkata

Tribal activist Soni Sori

Tribal activist Soni Sori

Welcoming the decision of Irom Sharmila to end 16-year- old hunger strike tribal rights activist Soni Sori said here on Tuesdaythat even as the fast has started by the has not brought desired results it has spread awareness about the provisions of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

“It may be that the objective for which she started her fast has not been fulfilled but her long struggle brought awareness among the people about AFSPA. She fought against the Act as because it is against humanity,” Ms. Sori who was present in Kolkata to deliver the third Abhee Dutta Majumdar Memorial Lecture told The Hindu .

“This is also a victory for her that the people all across the country are taking about it,” she added.

Irom Sharmila, firebrand activist from Manipur had announced on Tuesday that she will break her fast on August 9. She also said that she will join mainstream politics.

Ms. Sori (41) said that though she has never met Ms. Sharmila (42), she had read about her struggle during her stay in prison. The tribal activist, who was attacked by a chemical substance earlier this year, is associated with Aam Aadmi Party.

“If Irom Sharmila did not start her struggle and fight such a long battle, we wouldn't have known what is happening in Manipur,” she pointed out.

Observing that laws such as AFSPA give powers for extra judicial killings, Ms. Sori said that not only Army but Police too indulges in such killings. She pointed out that other Acts such as Unlawful Activist Prevention Act (UAPA) must be withdrawn.

“Such Acts are undemocratic and the innocent people are being targeted. These Acts have been created by the State for their benefits not for the welfare of citizens,” she added.

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