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Indian activist ends 16-year fast over military brutality

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Indian activist ends 16-year fast over military brutality

16-years after embarking on a hunger strike in protest of alleged military brutality in the north-eastern Indian state of Manipur, 44-year-old activist, Irom Sharmila has decided to end her protest.

Sharmila who started her hunger strike by not eating food voluntarily since Nov. 5, 2000, when 10 civilians were killed by paramilitary troops in Malom, a small town on the outskirts of Imphal, the Manipur state capital, has informed that she plans to stand as an independent candidate in elections early next year.

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Sharmila was arrested on charges of attempting suicide, which is illegal in India, three days after she started her hunger strike but her lawyer denied that She was trying to commit suicide, insisting that her hunger strike was a form of protest.

Prison officials at a government hospital in Manipur have since force fed Sharmila through a tube in her nose.

“The only way to bring change is electoral process. I will stand as an independent candidate from Malom constituency,” said Sharmila, who is also known as the “Iron Lady of Manipur.”

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