Post Manipur Defeat, Irom Sharmila Takes Time off at Kerala Ashram

Irom Sharmila arrived in Kerala on her 45th birthday.

Human rights activist Irom Sharmila, who had a disastrous debut in the recent Manipur elections, will spend some time in a tribal settlement in Kerala’s Attappadi.

She arrived at the tribal hamlet on Tuesday, to be away from the post poll frenzy and made it clear she would continue her fight for human rights and democratic values on her return.

Sources close to her said that she would spend around a month in Attappadi. This is her first visit to Kerala. She said she was happy to be in Kerala, from where she had got a lot of support for her fight against AFPSA.

When asked about her poll debacle, she said:

Nothing much constructive and transparent will be seen in the political arena... Because, elections are based on money and muscle power.

Sharmila, who went on fast against AFSPA for 16 years, had contested from Thoubal constituency against Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, but was relegated to the fourth position, winning just 90 votes.

Though she was sure of defeat, the magnitude of the outcome was unexpected, she said.

The activist said she would also use her stay in Kerala to study the problems of tribal people of Attappadi, where a large number of infant deaths have been reported in recent times.

(With inputs from PTI)