Irom Sharmila  Chanu has been charged with attempt to suicide
Irom Sharmila Chanu has been charged with attempt to suicideReuters

The 'Iron Lady' of Manipur, Irom Sharmila Chanu, has been convicted for suicide by a New Delhi Court on Monday.

Sharmila, who has been on a decade-long strike for the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Manipur, was charged in the 2006 Jantar Mantar Case.

She is charged under Indian Penal Code section 309 which states that any person trying to take his/her life will be subjected to imprisonment for a year or less, or even be fined.

The activist has refused to plead guilty in the court.

"I don't want to commit suicide. Mine is only a non-violent protest. It is my demand to live as a human being," said Sharmila when the court asked about her fast unto death.

"I want justice and peace," she added, "I am following Mahatma Gandhi's principle...If AFPSA is repealed I will take food again."

Magistrate Akash Jain continued with his judgment stating that attempting to take one's life is considered an offence under the law.

Sharmila has been unconditionally fasting for the removal of the AFPSA in Manipur which allows the armed forces unlimited powers in fighting against rebels and militants. 

The activist had started the 'fast until death' after 10 civilians were gunned down by the AFSA officials in the state 12 years ago.

Sharmila has been kept in Manipur jail for six years. She has been forcibly fed through her nose since November 2000.

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