August 08, 2017

India: People’s Watch appeals to the police and citizens not to disturb Irom Sharmila in Kodaikanal

 People’s Watch appeals to the police and citizens not to disturb Irom Sharmila in Kodaikanal.
People’s Watch condemns the engineered moves, presumably by non-government organisations, objecting to the proposed marriage of Ms. Irom Sharmila, the Iron Lady of Manipur with Mr. Desmond Coutinho before the Marriage Registrar, Kodaikanal.
          If there is a living embodiment of non-violence in this country, it is none other than Irom Sharmila, who is a recipient of several international awards for staging the world’s longest protest by fasting for 16 years to ensure life without the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
          When Kodaikanal can be home to a number of foreigners, to persons from all over India who are welcome as tourists and property holders or teachers in the international schools, how can Irom Sharmila be denied her right to stay is Kodaikanal? She has every right to exercise her freedom of movement enshrined in the Constitution of our country.
          People’s Watch is shocked to understand that the DSP of Kodaikanal, Mr. Selvam, is pressurizing her and her fiancé to leave Kodai hills on the basis of petitions being presented to him by communal forces.
People’s Watch appeals to all individuals, property owners, Institution heads as well as the strongly secular population of Kodaikanal to resist the attempted forced eviction of Irom Sharmila by the police and openly support Irom Sharmila’s right to life, right to choose her partner, right to reside and her right to freely move about wherever she desires.
          Irom Sharmila belongs to this nation. She is one of us. This is one of the best example of integration of the North East with the rest of India. Let us demonstrate our often pronounced respect for gender justice & women rights through our support to this valiant upholder of peace, tranquility and non-violence.
          People’s Watch urges the police to provide protection to her and her husband. The police must perform their constitutional obligations rather than aligning with the few communal, anti-secular, divisive and criminal forces of Kodaikanal.



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