A petition to sort out the cause for which she has been protesting in a Gandhian way was moved before the NHRC in April. Sharmila, who has been on an indefinite fast for the past 11 years, was re-arrested on March 12 this year, only a day after she was released on the charge of attempt to suicide. Under Section 309 of the IPC, the maximum punishment for trying to commit suicide is one year. Therefore, she is released once every year, only to be re-arrested for continuing the fast.
The civil rights activist, who turned 40 this year, was arrested, released and re-arrested for fasting for the past 11 years. She is being nasal fed forcibly at the state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal, the petitioner alleged.
Sharmila is demanding repeal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
The petitioner contended: “There are many people in this country who have been fasting, but are neither force fed nor arrested. Why such a discrimination against this lady from Manipur? She has been arrested illegally.”