INDIA: Need support the demand of a young social activist’s hunger strike for 22 months


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-43-2002
ISSUES: Military, Police violence,

INDIA: Risk of human security; Hunger strike to remove the Armed Forces Powers 

“Support the demand of 29 year old, Sharmila of Manipur, 22 months on hunger strike” 

“Remove the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958; rescind the ‘disturbed area’ status from Manipur” 

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) recommends to you to support the campaign launched by Ms. Irom Sharmila on 2 November 2000 when she spontaneously went on a hunger strike after the random killing of 22 innocent by-standers by the armed forces of India in Manipur. She had reached the end of her tolerance of the endemic violence, disappearances, killings of innocent people, which was made possible by the imposition of the draconian AFSPA, and the designation of Manipur as a ‘disturbed area’, where the armed forces have free play. 

On 5 November 2000, Sharmila was arrested and charged with attempt to commit suicide. In prison up till today she is being forced fed. 

In Manipur, her struggle is supported by many people; human rights’, women’s, workers’ and students’ organizations, have all added their voices to Sharmila’s silent protest. 

We are calling on you to step up the campaign now, since the newly appointed the President of India will be visiting Manipur in early October, and it would be good if he heard more voices supporting Sharmila’s demand before and during his visit. 

AHRC has launched a web-site and an on-line petition, using the petition formulated by the Human Rights Alert in Manipur (see below). 

Please visit our website at 


Please join petition on-line at:, upon which a copy of the petition will be sent automatically to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the President and Prime Minister of India. 

This web-site specially dedicated to Sharmila contains much background material about Sharmila herself and the highly militarized situation in Manipur. 


Sign the Human Rights’ Alert petition (following) and send it by fax or ordinary post, to the addresses below. 


Petition Campaign launched by Human Rights’ Alert, Manipur 


The President of India, Shri Abdul Kalam 
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee 
The Home Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani 


Subject: Request for your Intervention in the Case of Hunger Strike of Ms. Irom Sharmila 

Your Excellencies, 

This is to bring to your kind notice that Ms. Irom Sharmila, a 29 year old social activist from Porompat, Imphal East District, has been on an indefinite fasting protest demanding the revocation of the Disturbed Areas status under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, from Manipur. 

The fast commenced on 2 November 2000, following the massacre by the Assam Rifles of 10 innocent civilian by-standers including women in Malom Village, Manipur. Following Shamila’s protest a Magisterial Inquiry was instituted to ascertain the facts of this heinous attack. However, the armed forces moved the Gauhati High Court and successfully obtained a stay on the proceeding of the Inquiry. 

On 5 November 2000, the third day of her hunger strike, Sharmila was arrested by the police on the charge of attempted suicide. She is being forcefully nasal fed in judicial custody for more than 20 months. Currently she is being held at the Sajiwa Jail, Manipur. Three ministeries and president’s rule over the last two years have failed to bring any honourable solution to the legitimate demands raised by Sharmila on behalf of the people of Manipur who have been dealing with the harsh consequences of the prolonged imposition of the ‘disturbed areas’ status under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. 

Under these circumstances, we the human rights/civil liberties community of the country appeal to your Excellency to lift the ‘disturbed areas’ status from areas of Manipur where the civil authority can take charge. 

We especially appeal that urgent steps be taken in ensuring that Ms. Irom Sharmila is unconditionally released by the police and the false charges withdrawn, so that after almost two years of illegal detention she may resume a normal life. 

We hope you meet your promise made to the youth of this country. 

Thanking you in anticipation, 



1. The President of India 
H.E. Shri Abdul Kalam 
Office of the President, 
Rashtrapati Bhawan, 
New Delhi, 110004 
Fax: +91 11 3017290/3014570 
Tel: +91 11 3016767 (Joint Secretary of President), 3014507 (Personal Secretary of President) 
Email: or 

2. The Prime Minister of India, 
H.E. Atal Bihari Vajpayee 
South Block, Raisina Hill, 
New Delhi 110 011 
Tel: +91 11 3016996 (Joint Secretary of PM), 3018939 (Personal Secretary of PM) 
Fax: +91 11 3016857/3019545 (Office), +91 11 3019334 (Residence) or 

3. The Home Minister of India 
Mr. L.K. Advani 
South Block, Raisina Hill, 
New Dehli 110 001, 
Fax: +91 11 3015750 

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA-43-2002
Countries : India,
Campaigns : Irom Sharmila's Unending Hunger Strike
Issues : Military, Police violence,