Srinagar-Imphal March for Sharmila from 16 October 2011

Irom Chanu Sharmila

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Srinagar, Oct 9: An organisation formed in solidarity with Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila will undertake a march from the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir to Imphal next week in support of her demand for revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

“Sharmila has become a symbol of peace and a well known voice against AFSPA, which is a draconian law. Hence, this journey will begin from Srinagar which is also one of the main affected places due to AFSPA,” Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign said in a statement today.

The Manipuri activist is on a hunger strike for the last 10 years demanding revocation of AFSPA, which provides impunity to armed forces operating in disturbed areas of the country.

The journey to be flagged off by social activist Medha Patkar and Magsaysay awardee Sandeep Pandey on October 16 from Srinagar and is expected to reach the Manipur capital on October 27, the organisation said.

The march will cover Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Assam.

“We believe that at a time when democratic values are required for free and fair world, laws like AFSPA are like a blot on the democracy,” it said.

Garnering support for the march, the organisation said those who are living in areas which do not come under the purview of the AFSPA, have an important role to play by showing solidarity with and extending support to the victims of this law.

“The main objective of the journey is to spread awareness among people about AFSPA and to elicit their support,” it added.

Source: The Sangai Express