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Police arrests Irom Sharmila again

iromImphal: Rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila was today arrested once again by police under the same charge of attempt to commit suicide by means of her indefinite fast. The arrest comes a day after she is being released from jail.

Imphal West Superintendent of Police Jhaljit told media that Sharmila was arrested under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code for attempt to commit suicide.

‘She has been arrested for the same crime but it is a different case. For the last case she was released by the court and we arrested her under a new case,’ he said.

Imphal East district chief judicial magistrate yesterday rejected charges of attempt to suicide against the 42-year-old, who is on an indefinite fast for 14 years demanding repeal of AFSPA.

She has been kept in a government hospital under police custody where she is force fed through nose.

After walking out free last evening, Sharmila had again sat on a fast in the Imphal market complex through the night.

She was attended by a team of doctors from the government hospital, officials said, adding police asked her to go to the hospital at Porompat but she refused.

Demanding repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, Sharmila has refused to eat or drink anything since November 2000.

On 19 August 2014, another Manipur court had ordered Sharmila to be released stating that her hunger strike was a ‘political demand through lawful means’. However, she was similarly re-arrested three days later for allegedly attempting to commit suicide.

Last month, the central government had said it has decided to repeal Section 309 of the IPC, which makes attempt to commit suicide punishable with imprisonment for up to one year.

Sharmila has been arrested, released and then re-arrested from time to time on the charge of attempting to commit suicide. The maximum punishment under Section 309 of the IPC is a one-year jail term.

She began her fast in November 2002 after Assam Rifles personnel killed 10 people in Imphal airport in an alleged fake encounter. Central forces, including Assam Rifles, are deployed in Manipur under AFSPA to counter insurgents.

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