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Saluting The Real Hero-Saluting IROM SHARMILA

Sharmila, who was 28 at the time of Malom Massacre, began to fast in protest.Her primary demand to the Indian government has been the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).She began her fast in Malom on 5 November, and vowed not to eat, drink, comb her hair or look in a mirror until AFSPA was repealed.
Three days after she began her strike, she was arrested by the police and charged with an "attempt to commit suicide",which was unlawful under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at that time, and was later transferred to judicial custody. Her health deteriorated rapidly, and nasogastric intubation was forced on her from 21 November in order to keep her alive while under arrest.
Sharmila has been regularly released and re-arrested every year since her hunger strike began.
By 2004, Sharmila had become an "icon of public resistance."Following her procedural release on 2 October 2006 Irom Sharmila Chanu went to Raj Ghat, New Delhi, which she said was "to pay floral tribute to my ideal, Mahatma Gandhi." Later that evening, Sharmila headed for Jantar Mantar for a protest demonstration where she was joined by students, human rights activists and other concerned citizens.30 women protested naked in support of Sharmila in front of the Assam Rifles headquarters. They held a banner saying "Indian Army rape us" and all of them were imprisoned for three months.

On 6 October, she was re-arrested by the Delhi police for attempting suicide and was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where she wrote letters to the Prime Minister, the President, and the Home Minister.At this time, she met and won the support of Nobel-laureate Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Laureate and human rights activist, who promised to take up Sharmila's cause at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
In 2011, she invited anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare to visit Manipur,[21] and Hazare sent two representatives to meet with her.

In October 2011, the Manipur Pradesh All India Trinamool Congress announced their support for Sharmila and called on party chief Mamata Banerjee to help repeal the AFSPA.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) (CPI ML) also stated its support for her and for repeal of AFSPA, calling for nationwide agitation. In November, at the end of the eleventh year of her fast, Sharmila again called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to repeal the law.On 3 November 100 women formed a human chain in Ambari to show support for Sharmila, while other civil society groups staged a 24-hour fast in a show of solidarity.
In 2011 the Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign (SSSC) was launched to highlight Sharmila's struggle and in December 2011, Pune University announced a scholarship program for 39 female Manipuri students to take degree courses in honour of Irom Sharmila Chanu's 39 years of age.
She has only met her mother once since the start of the fast as seeing her mother's anguish may break her resolve. She said "The day AFSPA is repealed I will eat rice from my mother's hand."

On March 28, 2016, she was released from judicial custody as charges against her was rejected by a local court in Imphal. Sharmila kept her vow of neither entering her house nor meeting her mother till the government repeals AFSPA and went to continue her fast at Shahid Minar, Imphal on the same day of her release. She was again arrested by the police under the same charge of attempt to commit suicide by means of indefinite fast.

End of the fast
On July 26, 2016, Irom Sharmila, who had been on a hunger strike since 2000, announced that she would end her fast on August 9, 2016. She also announced that she would contest state elections in Manipur.
The decision to end her fast comes as a surprise considering her earlier statement that she would eat rice from her mother's hand the day AFSPA is repealed as the Act is still enforced in Manipur. However, the objective of her fast and entering politics is to fight for the removal of AFSPA as she has asserted “I will join politics and my fight will continue.”

Irom Chanu Sharmila (born 14 March 1972),also known as the "Iron Lady"or "Mengoubi" ("the fair one")is a civil rights activist, political activist, and poet from the Indian state of Manipur. On 2 November 2000,she began a hunger strike which she ended on 9 August 2016, after 16 years of fasting. Having refused food and water for more than 500 weeks, she has been called "the world's longest hunger striker".On International Women’s Day, 2014 she was voted the top woman icon of India by MSN Poll.In 2014 two parties asked her to stand in the national election, but she declined. She was then denied the right to vote as a person confined in jail cannot vote according to law.On 19 August 2014 a court ordered her release from custody, subject to there being no other grounds for detention. She was re-arrested on 22 August 2014 on similar charges to those for which she was acquitted, and remanded in judicial custody for 15 days.Amnesty International has declared her as a prisoner of conscience.