Will end fast, marry and contest elections, says Irom Sharmila

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Imphal, July 26 (IANS) Irom Sharmila, who had long been on a hunger fast against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, on Tuesday surprised people with her announcement that she will end her fast on August 9, the next date of her court hearing.

Making the announcement in the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Imphal west, she further said that she will marry and contest the Manipur assembly elections next year as an independent candidate.

The 42-year-old activist has declined food or drink for the last 16 years, seeking repeal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. She is on forcible nose feeding.

Sharmila began a hunger strike in November 2000, following the killing of 10 civilians by security forces. She was arrested by the Manipur government in 2000 under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, which prohibits an attempt to commit suicide.

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