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Brief timeline of Irom Sharmila

Brief timeline of Irom Sharmila


A brief timeline of Irom Sharmila Chanu, who ended her 16-year long fast against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) on Tuesday.

November 2, 2000: Assam Rifles personnel gun down 10 people, including a teenage student who was a 1988 Bravery Award winner, at Malom near Imphal.

November 4, 2000: Sharmila, then 28, begins her indefinite fast in protest against the killings, demands withdrawal of AFSPA that gives sweeping powers to armed forces.

November 8, 2000: Sharmila arrested by police on charges of attempt to commit suicide under Section 309 of IPC. She has since been released and arrested several times as the maximum punishment under this Section is one year imprisonment.

Technically, she is in the custody of Imphal’s Sajiwa Central Jail but kept at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, where a team of doctors, nurses and policewomen ensure she gets her injections of nutrients through the nasal tube.

October 2, 2006: Sharmila goes to Raj Ghat, New Delhi, to pay floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Goes to Jantar Mantar for a protest demonstration where she is joined by human rights activists, students and others.

October 6, 2006: She is re-arrested by the Delhi Police for attempting suicide and taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Sharmila writes to the Prime Minister, the President, and the Home Minister.

February 24, 2010: Sharmila gets the Mayilamma Award for the year 2009. Mayilamma Foundation secretary M.N. Giri and great grandson-in-law of Mahatma Gandhi, Yogendra S. Parikh, present the award to Sharmila at her hospital ward. 

March 2011: Desmond Coutinho, 48, a British citizen of Indian origin, meets Sharmila in hospital. Sharmila and Coutinho had been exchanging letters since 2009. Sharmila says he loves her.

October 2011: All India Trinamool Congress’ Manipur unit announces support to Sharmila and calls on party chief Mamata Banerjee to help repeal the AFSPA.

July 26, 2016: Sharmila announces she would end her fast, join electoral politics and get married. 

August 9, 2016: Sharmila ends her 16-year-long hunger strike, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the Quit India movement.