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Sharmila wants plebiscite on AFSPA

By Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, Jan 3 - Manipur�s human rights crusader Irom Chanu Sharmila has demanded that a plebiscite on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958 should be held for the people to decide whether the Act should continue or not.

�I desire and look forward for a plebiscite on AFSPA. Let�s give the people a chance to say yes or no (on AFSPA)�, said Sharmila while speaking to media when she was brought to be produced before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Imphal West here on Saturday.

�More than 15 years have passed but still the government has not given any clear-cut indication whether they want to repeal or to continue imposing the Act�, added Sharmila who had been on a fast demanding the repeal of the controversial AFSA from Manipur since 2000.

Sharmila, who is popularly known as �Iron Lady of Manipur�, felt that the government has failed to recognise her movement. Urging for a mass support to the anti-AFSPA movement, Sharmila, who had received more than 8,000 New Year wishes from around the world, expressed her desire to wish them back through the media.

Sharmila had been arrested, released and re-arrested several times since 2000 on the charge of attempting to commit suicide. She will be produced before the court again on January 16.

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