Irom Sharmila released on bail, next hearing on Aug. 23

Imphal, Aug. 9 : Manipur's human rights activist Irom Sharmila, who had been on a hunger strike for the past 16 years protesting against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), was released on bail today by an Imphal court.

"Two witnesses were examined today, the proceeding is closed. 23rd August 2016 is fixed for accused examination. She is now released on personal bond of Rs. 10, 000," said Irom Sharmila's lawyer. Her lawyer further said that Sharmila will be released and taken into the judicial custody. Sharmila, will break her 16 year long fast today. "I will break my fast as the government has failed to give any positive response... I will fight elections to resolve the issues," she told ANI outside the Imphal court. Irom was arrested and released several times under Section 309 for attempted suicide. She has so far rejected allegations that she was trying to commit suicide, and maintained that she is on a hunger strike to demand the withdrawal of AFSPA.

According to reports, Sharmila had earlier rejected the Aam Aadmi Party's offer to contest the Lok Sabha elections under its banner from the inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat in 2014.

Both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have reportedly offered the option of joining their parties.

Source: ANI