Irom Sharmila. Pic/PTI
Manipur's human rights activist Irom Sharmila on Tuesday reached Kerala from Coimbatore on her 45th birthday. She will spend a month in Attapadi, a tribal hamlet, near to Palakkad.
It is Sharmila's first ever visit to Kerala. "I am here in Kerala, just for a break. I am very pleased with your warm greetings," Sharmila said.
She is here after being defeated on her maiden foray in electoral politics in Manipur where she received only 90 votes from the Thoubal assembly constituency against Chief Minister and Congress nominee Okram Ibobi Singh. She alleged that the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) used money and muscle power openly during the elections.
Considered as Manipur's "Iron Lady", Sharmila had continued her fast-unto-death for 16 years, being force-fed and put on liquid diet in hospitals, to press her demand for repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in the state.
She ended her indefinite hunger strike in August last year and launched People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance in October.
-with agency inputs