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Irom Sharmila tells court she wants to settle in life

Irom Sharmila tells court she wants to settle in life

New Delhi: Human rights activist Irom Sharmila Wednesday told a court hearing a case of attempted suicide during her fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar here in 2006, that she wants to lead a settled life now.

Dubbed the "Iron Lady", 40-year-old Sharmila from Manipur, who was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain in pursuance of a production warrant issued against her, told the court that she believes in non-violence and wants to settle in life.

"I want to settle in life and enjoy it," she said.

Sharmila said she wants the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to be repealed.

The court said it cannot comment on this issue as her movement was against the state, but that it can expedite and conduct a fair trial.

The court said it can grant exemption from personal appearance to Sharmila and she can be represented by her lawyer.

Sharmila, however, requested the court to allow her to attend court proceedings as she wants to be part of the hearing.

The court said it will take that into consideration.

Meanwhile, the court was also informed that huge expenditure is being incurred by the state exchequer to bring Sharmila to court.

Replying to the court's query, Manipur Police officials escorting Sharmilla told the court that she has no prior sanction from senior officials and the state government to extend her stay in Delhi.

The court wanted to conduct the trial in the case Thursday but deferred it to July 17 after officials said they have to take Sharmila back to Manipur.

The court also recorded the statements of two prosecution witnesses - Station House Officer of Connaught Place, Satish Kaushik, and investigating officer in the case, Subhash Chander.

Testifying as a witness in the case, Kaushik told the court that he took Sharmila to hospital after hearing that her health was deteriorating.

Sharmila has been on a fast for about 12 years, demanding repeal of AFSPA.

On March 4, 2013, the court framed charges against Sharmila for attempting to commit suicide and put her on trial after she refused to plead guilty.

Sharmila was present in the court in March and denied that she attempted suicide while fasting at Jantar Mantar in 2006.

She also told the court that she has been protesting for the last 12 years in the "most non-violent way, like Mahatma Gandhi".

She said she was fasting for the people of Manipur as they were being neglected by the government.

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