NEW DELHI (Web Desk) – Indian activist Irom Sharmila has ended her 16-year-long hunger strike against a controversial security law, in order to compete in local elections.
Her campaign, described as the world’s longest hunger strike, had led to her being detained, and forced fed through a tube in her nose for over a decade.
She was held under a law that makes attempting suicide a crime, BBC reported.
The court in northeastern Manipur state granted her bail on Tuesday and asked her to reappear on 23 June.
Ms Sharmila has signed a personal bail bond and is expected to be released from her judicial custody in a local hospital after bail procedures are complete.
She tasted honey to symbolically break her fast in front of journalists in the hospital.
Ms Sharmila told the court in the state capital, Imphal, that she was a “prisoner of conscience” and she wanted to end her fast, be free and fight in local assembly elections.
“I have to change my strategy. Some people are seeing me as a strange woman because I want to join politics. They say politics is dirty, but so is society. I want to stand in the elections against the government,” she said.
She told reporters she had decided to “try a different [form of] agitation” because “I have been fasting for 16 years and I have not got anything from it yet”.
Ms Sharmila had been protesting against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives soldiers sweeping powers to arrest without warrants and even shoot to kill in certain situations.
AFSPA is in effect in several Indian states, including in Manipur and Indian-administered Kashmir.