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Sunday, 16 July 2017

From Manipur to Kodai, with love: Irom Sharmila files marriage application at hill town

“My search for peace has ended in Kodaikanal,” she said.

Manipur’s famous human rights activist Irom Sharmila, known for her 16-year-long fast against AFSPA, arrived in Kodaikanal on Wednesday to file an application to marry her long-time partner Desmond Coutinho.

“My search for peace has ended in Kodaikanal,” she said as she came to the sub-registrar office with her partner, who is a British citizen. She added that she wants to lead the normal life of a normal woman now, reported The Times of India.

The sub-registrar Rajesh said that he could not grant permission for their request as per the Hindu Marriage Act, but under the Special Marriages Act. And as per the act, they would need a 30-day notice period. Both Irom and Coutinho spent about two hours in the registrar office to kick-off the process.


However, the central agencies and the police have asked the sub-registrar office to inform them in advance before they are given registration date. It is said that both the central agencies and police are keeping a close watch on her, reported The Hindu.

According to the court marriage procedures, TOI reports, the marriage officer of the officer where the event would be held has to be informed of the intention at least 30 days before the wedding, and one of them should have stayed in the place for 30 days.

When Irom Sharmila was asked if she will take up activism, she said that everyone in ‘free India’ had the right to fight for their rights and if there is a need, she will take up activism.

Considered as Manipur's "Iron Lady", Sharmila had continued her fast-unto-death for 16 years, being force-fed and put on a liquid diet in hospital, to press her demand for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state.

She ended her indefinite hunger strike in August last year and launched People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) in October. She contested the Manipur elections from Thoubal assembly constituency against three-time chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and lost, receiving only 90 votes. After the defeat, she had decided to quit politics.

(Source: TNM)

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