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Manipur Government in a fix over detaining Sharmila

by IT Web Admin
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Iboyaima Laithangbam
Now that with the support of the majority of the States and the Union Territories, the Central Government is going to decriminalise attempt to commit suicide and delete Section 309 of IPC, the Manipur Government is at a loss on how to arrest and detain Irom Sharmila.
Ms. Sharmila has been on fast unto death since November 4, 2000 demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 which gives carte blanche the security forces while dealing with anti-national elements.
Under this Act she can be detained for one year at one go and has to be released ritually at the end of each year. However she is always rearrested as she continues her fast. All along she has been denying the suicide attempt charge saying that she is using it as a weapon to achieve her goal. She loves her life and is looking forward to having solid food.
Recently the District and Sessions court ruled that she was not guilty of trying to commit suicide and had ordered her release. However a lower court had to re-arrest her on the same charge as she continued her fast.
Once Section 309 is deleted from the law book the authority here will find it hard to find a relevant Act to detain her since she will continue her fast.
Khaidem Mani, counsel for Irom Sharmila, told that he welcomes the move to delete Section 309 of IPC. He is happy that once it is deleted she will be set free.
However, government officials said that even though Sharmila cannot be arrested once Section 309 is deleted and attempt to suicide is decriminalised she will be nose fed everyday so that she does die. She will not be arrested. A team of doctors, paramedics and police will go wherever she is continuing her fast. She is facing charges in a local court and Patiala House court in Delhi.
(Courtesy: The Hindu)

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