Ahmedabad: As visitors trouped in at Sabarmati Ashram on Sunday, a small table stationed at the entrance generated interest of many. “In solidarity with Sharmila”, said a white banner behind the table encouraging a signature campaign in support of Irom Sharmila who is on a hunger protest in Manipur for over 10 years now. She is demanding withdrawal of special powers endowed upon security forces in Manipur and north-eastern states.
As Sharmila continues to struggle for peace and justice, her supporters in the city felt that Gandhi Ashram and October 2 (Gandhiji’s birthday) was the ideal occasion to kickstart a signature campaign to hold up her cause. The endeavour was organised by Janpath who received more than 500 signatures in her support. The campaign will continue till October 10.
One such supporter at Gandhi Ashram was Magsaysay award winner Sandeep Pandey, who is in city to teach at Indian Institute of Technology – Gandhinagar (IIT-Gn). Extending his support to Sharmila, Pandey said that it is shameful for a democracy where people’s aspirations are not accommodated.
“When Omar (Abdullah) came into power in Jammu and Kashmir, the first thing he did was to do away with the Armed Forces (special powers) Act, 1958. It is shameful that government of India is not doing so in Manipur,” added Pandey.