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Thursday, 29 September 2011

Anna Hazare might travel to Manipur soon to meet Irom Sharmila

Veteran Gandhian Anna Hazare is likely to travel to Manipur to personally urge rights activist Irom Sharmila to end her 10-year-old hunger strike.

Sharmila has been fasting since November 2000, demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, (AFSPA) in the North-East.

After the success of the Jan Lokpal movement, Team Anna was flooded with requests from activists from different parts of the country to lend support to their causes. The team had promised to give their decision after consideration.

Sources close to the anti-graft activist told DNA that Hazare had expressed concern about the condition of Sharmila and wants an early end to her marathon fast. The Manipuri activist is being force-fed at the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital close to her home in Imphal.

During the Jan Lokpal movement, Sharmila had expressed her support for the cause through a letter.

In continuation of Team Anna's decision, two members of the team will be leaving for Imphal soon, possibly Manish Sissodiya and Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan.

Sharmila's demand for repealing the AFSPA will also be studied in detail as Team Anna has expressed concern about the possible implications in other sensitive parts of the country.

Sources close to Hazare told DNA that other than urging Sharmila to end her hunger strike, the Gandhian is keen to visit the North-East for other reasons.

"There exists a mental block in various parts of the country, which has caused a divide between the North-East and the rest of the country. Given the iconic stature of Anna, his visit would go a long way in bridging the divide and to integrate those parts into the greater psyche of the nation," the source said.


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