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Sharmila wish to meet Modi with repeal plea

Imphal, May 21: Rights crusader Irom Sharmila today expressed her desire to meet Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi to press for her demand to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

“I would like to meet Narendra Modi and appeal to the leader to listen to my voice and the voices of the people against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act,” Sharmila said while coming to appear before the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Imphal East, A. Noutuneshwari Devi, today.

Sharmila has been on fast since November 5, 2000, demanding repeal of the army act. She appeared today before the court for a hearing on a charge after state police for the first time submitted a chargesheet against her recently.

In the chargesheet, Sharmila has been accused of attempting to commit suicide under Section 309 IPC. She is challenging the charge, maintaining she was only using the non-violent means of hunger strike to achieve her goal.

The hearing is likely to conclude on May 24, her lawyer Khaidem Mani Singh said.

Just before the Lok Sabha elections, Sharmila had supported Arvind Kejriwal’s party. She went on record saying if she was allowed to vote she would vote for the Aam Aadmi Party, which contested in both the Inner and Outer Manipur constituencies.

Sharmila had, however, turned down a request from the AAP to become a candidate of the party. She had also turned down a request from chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh to join the Congress.

Now Sharmila has reposed faith in Narendra Modi.

“People voted for Modi because they believe that he could bring change for the better and bring welfare to the poor and helpless. I also personally have faith in him that he would do good for the country,” the activist said.

Sharmila would be appearing on May 28 before the Patiala House Court, which summoned her in connection with a case of her fasting in New Delhi in 2006.

The court of the chief judicial magistrate, Imphal East, has given Sharmila permission to leave Imphal on May 27 for New Delhi for her court appearance.

Sharmila, however, did not say how she planned to meet Modi.