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Court Rejects Attempt to Suicide Charge Against Irom Sharmila

Imphal: For the second time within a year, a court in Manipur's Imphal has ruled that activist Irom Sharmila is not trying to commit suicide through her indefinite fast against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA. 

The latest court order in her favour means that Irom Sharmila will be released from judicial custody; she has been confined to a room at a government hospital in Imphal for the last 15 years. 

The Imphal court today refused to accept the Manipur Police's chargesheet over a 2014 case, charging her with an attempt to commit suicide

On August 19 last year, a court in Imphal, while ruling on a case lodged against the activist way back in 2000, had ordered that she be released from custody. The court had also observed that the Manipur government and the police had "failed miserably" to demonstrate that she had intended to commit suicide through fasting. Just three days after her release, the Manipur Police re-arrested Irom Sharmila and charged her with another case of attempted suicide. She was also charged under Section 353 of the Indian penal Code, for stopping a public servant from performing his duty, was also brought in.

Today, the court dismissed both the charges.

An anguished Sharmila told the judge today, "I am tired of this cycle of release and re-arrest. Please put my case to trial once and for all. Let the case be decided".
Babloo Loitongbam, an activist from Imphal and part of the Save Sharmila campaign, says, "She has been released by the court. All of us value her liberty and we hope she will not be criminalised further."
Neither the Manipur government nor the police have reacted on the court's verdict yet.

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