The ‘Malom Massacre’, which claimed more than 10 lives, including an 18 year boy Sinam Chandramani, and a 62 year old woman Leisangbam Ibetombi, unfolding protests in various parts of the state of Manipur as the protesters demanded the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which grants power to the security forces to search a property without a warrant and to arrest people and to use deadly force if there is reasonable suspicion that a person is acting against the state.

Irom Sharmila didn’t join the violent protest; instead, she sat on a hunger strike demanding the repeal of AFSPA. She vowed not to eat, drink, comb her hair or look in the mirror until this draconian act was repealed.  

Here are some of the important facts about Irom Sharmila’s life:

  • Irom Sharmila was born on 14th March 1972 and is the youngest in a family of nine siblings and had a pretty lonely childhood
  • Irom Sharmila wanted to become a doctor but was not that good at studies.  She could not clear her Class XII examination. She, however, did a course in journalism for six months. She also learnt stenography for a year
  • Her inclination towards injustice in the society was evident from her days as a reporter for a local newspaper. She used to participate in different rallies and dharnas
  • Irom Sharmila started her fast against AFSPA in the year 2000
  • She met her mother only once since 2000
  • In order to keep her alive, the state forcefully fed her through nose, which actually deteriorated her health
  • In 2011, the Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC) was launched to highlight Sharmila's struggle
  • Sharmila has been honoured with Gwangju Prize for Human Rights, the first Mayillama Award of the Mayilamma Foundation, and a lifetime achievement award from the Asian Human Rights Commission for her struggle
  • Her daily intake of calories was 1,600 which included Cerelac, juices like Appy, Horlicks, and protein shakes
  • Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Laureate promised to take Sharmila’s case to UNHRC
  • A statue of Meera Bai, a wind chime, and an Assamese gamcha could be seen in her room along with a huge selection of all kinds of books


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