Irom Sharmila to end fast after 16 years, contest Manipur polls

Imphal:Manipur's 'Iron Lady' Irom Chanu Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike for the past 16 years demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), today announced her decision to end the fast on August 9 and contest state Assembly elections.

"I will end my fast on August 9 and contest elections," the 44-year-old rights activist announced before the media  after coming out from a local court here. She said she no longer believes that her fast will lead to the repeal of the "draconian" AFSPA but she will continue the fight.

"That is why I will join politics and my fight will continue," said Sharmila who has refused to eat or drink anything since November, 2000.