Irom Sharmila: India activist in 'suicide attempt' charge

Irom Sharmila Chanu Irom Sharmila Chanu is force-fed through a pipe in her nose

Related Stories

A court in India has charged Irom Sharmila Chanu, who has been fasting for 12 years against a draconian law in the north-eastern state of Manipur, with "attempting to commit suicide".

The charge relates to a protest by Ms Chanu, 40, in Delhi in 2006.

She has pleaded not guilty to the charge. She said she was holding a "non-violent" protest.

She is currently held in a Manipur jail and has been force-fed through a pipe in her nose since November 2000.

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Afspa), against which Ms Chanu is protesting, gives sweeping powers to the armed forces when they fight separatist insurgents or leftist radicals - powers which critics say are often misused.

Ms Chanu was flown in to Delhi on Sunday and produced in the Patiala House court on Monday morning.

"I do not want to commit suicide. Mine is only a non-violent protest. It is my demand to live as a human being," Press Trust of India quoted her as telling the judge.

"I love life. I do not want to take my life but I want justice and peace," she added.

In response, the judge said: "I respect you but the law of the land does not permit you to take your life."

The court has ordered the prosecution to record evidence on 22 May.

Ms Chanu began her fast 12 years ago after 10 civilians were killed by Indian soldiers in Manipur.

In 2006, she brought her protest to Delhi and the charge brought against her on Monday is linked to that fast.

Manipur has a population of about 2.5 million people and a huge force of army, paramilitary and state police. They have been fighting at least 12 insurgent groups since 1980.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More India stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Players pointing up at the sky Spiders from Mars?

    The day UFOs stopped play - and 10,000 football fans gasped


  • cube 1Puzzled?

    How to solve brain-teasers by one of the greatest maths minds


  • A protestor raises his hands in front of police during demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, on 22 October.Ferguson redux

    Grand jury decision exonerating police could reignite unrest


  • A police officer patrols the grounds of the National War Memorial in Ottawa (24 October 2014)Debates reawakened

    Canada no stranger to threat of political violence


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • BeesSweet medicine

    Why are sick bees being prescribed honey? BBC Earth investigates

Programmes

  • The smartphone that answers backClick Watch

    Smartphones get smarter – the prototypes that talk and say ouch when you drop them

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.