Manipur’s human rights activist Irom Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike for over a decade, on Tuesday expressed her inability in her letter addressed to Anna Hazare to participate in Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption rally in New Delhi as she is under arrest. Arvind Kejriwal, a key member of Team Anna had reached out to Just Peace Foundation (JPF), a Manipur-based body promoting Sharmila’s campaign, inviting her to join the rally. Sharmila, the Iron Lady of Manipur, is campaigning to have the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act repealed. The act provides unlimited powers to security forces to shoot at sight and arrest anybody without a warrant. She launched an indefinite hunger strike since 2nd November 2000 after she witnessed the killing of 10 people by army soldiers in Malom village on the outskirts Imphal. Confined to a hospital ward, she is being force-fed through a nasal tube. Sharmila has invited Anna to visit Manipur. Everybody supporting Anna Hazare, please also support Irom Sharmila.
Anna Ki Rasoi, the 24-hour kitchen, being run by businessman Anil Jain and his friends, that’s been supplying food for the thousands of protesters thronging the Ramlila Grounds. What started as a small makeshift kitchen with a handful of people on the August 18 has now turned into a mass operation, with people coming forward with food supplies and even utensils to sustain the kitchen. While one person donated 1 lakh plastic plates, others have joined in, offering to cook. So, while Anna Hazare fasts, Anna Ki Rasoi ensures that the protests don’t lose steam. After all, everybody can’t really protest on an empty stomach.