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Socialist Party protests the arrest of Irom Chanu Sharmila
The Socialist Party protests the arrest of Irom Chanu Sharmila only after three days of her release. The Socialist Party wants to draw attention to the fact that 14 years ago in 2000, the security forces gunned down 10 innocent citizens at a bus stop in Imphal.

The dead included an 80 year old woman and a bravery award winner child. Shaken by the incident Irom Sharmila started her indefinite fast against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Assam and Manipur) 1958 (AFSPA that shields the security forces even after such indiscriminate firings on innocent people.

The court said on last Tuesday, that there is no case for attempted suicide against Sharmila who has been on continuous fast for the last 14 years demanding removal of the AFSPA, and that she should be released immediately. Despite this, the Police arrested her again after three days in the same matter.

The Police said that they have received orders for her judicial custody from the Chief Judicial Magistrate. The Socialist Party believes that Sharmila's arrest again after the court's release, is a direct violation of her fundamental rights, and is contempt of the court's order.

As a result of acquittal after a long arrest and then arrest again has worsened Sharmila's health. She has been kept in a hospital, where attempts are being made to force feed her through a tube. Her life is in danger considering her already fragile health.

After the release from prison, Irom Sharmila had said, "we should all look for a solution to the issue so that we can all live together, eat, drink and sleep together. I am no martyr. I am a normal person. I also want to have a meal."

After the court's order when she was released on Thursday, a huge number of citizens went to meet her. Many people throughout the country who have faith in a non-violent struggle are with her. Obviously the central and state governments who want to enforce AFSPA, are scared of the non-violent protest and again arrested Sharmila who is also known as the 'iron lady'.

The Socialist Party demands that Sharmila should be released immediately and AFSPA should be scraped. The party is extremely worried about Sharmila's health. Therefore it appeals her to stop fasting and carry on her struggle against AFSPA.

The Socialist Party is organizing a prayer meet for the health and release of Sharmila on 30th August at 6'o clock at Gandhi Samadhi, Rajghat, New Delhi. All like-minded organizations and individuals are requested to attend.

(Dr. Prem Singh is General Secretary and Spokesperson for Socialist Party, India)

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