FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
IMPHAL, January 24: Irom Sharmila was rearrested last night from the Imphal town where she continued her fast unto death. On Thursday, she was released at the orders of the judicial magistrate Wisdom Kamodang.
The judge was of the opinion that the prosecution had failed to establish that she was attempting to commit suicide.
In the past she used to go to the shack where the supporters of Save Sharmila Group have been congregating every now and then. But this time she went straight to Imphal town from the court room after being released. She squatted at the foot of the elephant and king Bhagyachandra statues. Initially, some supporters had sidled near her. Women vendors had also tried to come and watch out of mere curiosity. However, later police did not permit anyone to go near her. The armed policemen and women kept vigil.
A medical team examined her. They recorded that her blood pressure was on the lower side since she was fasting without life support. At the advice of the medical team, police arrested her and rushed her to the sub–jail in J.N. Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal since her condition became worrisome.
Reports say that from late last night she was nosed fed and given other medications.
While being produced in the court, she had appealed to the judge to put an end to the arrest, re–arrest, release and numerous productions in the court. She is charged with attempting to commit suicide and is detained under section 309 IPC. Under this provision, the authority is empowered to detain her for one year at one go. At the end of each year she is ritually released.
But then police had to rearrest her since she continued her fast. She had been traumatized by the massacres of innocent persons by the security personnel long after the insurgents had melted away. The last straw was the massacre of ten innocent persons including a woman on November 2, 2000 at Mallom near the airport. She launched the fast unto death from November 4.
Higher ups have been appealing to her to break her fast. But at the same time they made it clear that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 could not be repealed as it would amount to giving a free hand to the insurgents. Reacting to the state charges that she was attempting to commit suicide she said that it is not so since she loves her life and is looking forward to the day when she will be able to take solid food.
On August 29, 2014 the District and Sessions court held that the prosecution has failed to establish the charge of attempt to suicide and ordered her release. However, she was rearrested as she continued her fast.
The story is repeated and will go on repeating time and again.
Sharmila is also not happy that there is no enthusiastic support from the people to her cause. The government has also noted the waning support from the people and as a result the ministers had stopped making any reference to her crusade and appealing to her to give up her fast.