Sharmila acquitted in 2006 suicide bid case

The 42-year-old Manipuri rights activist is on a fast for the last 16 years demanding the repeal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

March 30, 2016 02:38 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:09 pm IST - New Delhi

Irom Sharmila says she never intended to commit suicide and it was just a protest against AFSPA. File photo

Irom Sharmila says she never intended to commit suicide and it was just a protest against AFSPA. File photo

Manipuri civil rights activist Irom Sharmila was acquitted on Wednesday in a case of attempted suicide registered in 2006 when she undertook a fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar here.

Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh asked her to furnish a personal bond for Rs.10,000.

When she refused, the court extended the bond she furnished when she was granted bail earlier. The Magistrate said since Ms. Sharmila was in judicial custody in other cases and her presence could be secured before the appellate court if the present order was challenged, her personal bond was being extended for six months.

Ms. Sharmila launched her fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar on October 4, 2006 demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. She was put on trial on March 4, 2013.

> Read: A democracy of armed soldiers

The public prosecutor had argued in the court on Tuesday that the offence under Section 309 was made out against Ms. Sharmila as she intended to kill herself by fasting. The activist, also known as the “Iron Lady,” told the court that her protest was non-violent.

Her counsel tried to persuade Ms. Sharmila to furnish a personal bond, but she said she was not convinced. The court then extended her previous bond.

A large number of people accompanying Ms. Sharmila raised slogans in her support as she left the Patiala House District Court premises after the judgment was pronounced.

Ms. Sharmila has been on fast for the last 16 years in Manipur demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. The activist is being fed through a nasal tube.

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