Students denied permission to meet Manipur activist Sharmila

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New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Over a hundred students were on Wednesday denied entry by the Delhi Police into Manipur Bhavan here to meet rights activist Irom Sharmila.

Earlier in the day, Sharmila was acquitted by the Delhi High Court in an attempt-to- suicide case registered in 2006 after she sat on a fast-unto-death at the Jantar Mantar here.

Sharmila, 42, has been on a fast for 16 years in Manipur to demand the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in her state.

These students from the North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) and Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Association had gathered in front of the Manipur House to extend solidarity to Sharmila in her struggle against AFSPA.

Later, Sharmila briefly came out to meet the students.

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JNUSU vice president Shehla Rashid, who addressed the students, said: “We salute Irom Sharmila in her fight against AFSPA. There has been a victory today… but it is not a complete victory. There are fresh cases against her and as long as she fights, we have to keep supporting her in her fight against AFSPA.”

“She was brought here but not allowed to address us. We condemn this attitude of the authorities and some agencies which do not want us to meet Sharmila,” she said.

A peaceful march was also held from Manipur Bhavan to the gate of South Asian University here.

Manipur Students Association leader Seram Rojesh said: “When Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, Sharmila came to Delhi and wrote a letter to him. But Modi doesn’t have time to meet Sharmila. The media should ask him why he is afraid of Sharmila.”

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