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21 March 2017, 12:02 | Darnell Patrick
Live: Manipur election results 2017
After ending her 16-year-long hunger strike - considered the longest in the world - when she chose to contest the assembly elections, her aim was to create a political will to lift AFSPA from the state.
While the PRJA had fielded only three candidates, including Sharmila, it did it best to fend off predictions of a massive loss. She launched People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance in October last and said she will fight elections from Thoubal as well as Khurai, from where she hails. For the people on the ground, however, it falls much below the day-to-day struggles of bandh and blockade and lack of development. He like others are of the view that, "PRJA is unfortunately very disconnected with the reality of electoral politics".
She held on to her fight against AFSPA for 16 long years, earning accolades from Manipur as well as across the globe.
In a state where the unemployment rate is higher than the national average, this is an important issue in the minds of voters. Singh defeated her by a margin of 15,000 votes.
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But the worldwide recognition the Iron Lady gained for fasting gave her a reputation that didn't allow her to desire these things, and likely led to her political failure. It was allegedly committed by the Assam Rifles, one of the Indian Paramilitary forces operating in the state. But her personality is not one of a typical politician. Coutinho's had an uneasy relationship with Sharmila's supporters and others in Manipur, to put it lightly. This is her first ever visit to Kerala.
All Sharmila had said was that the army should not rape women.
The gross abuses of human rights offered by this act are exactly what the Iron Lady of Manipur has been protesting for the most part of the 21st century. She was 28-year-old when she started her fast against the massacre of 10 people in Imphal, demanding repeal of AFSPA.
She said: 'I will continue my fight against AFSPA until and unless it is repealed. She told media that she would take a decision on her future course of action only after her return. My birthday has always been just like another day in my life.
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