An insurgent group in Manipur has warned activist Irom Sharmila against ending her 16-year hunger strike on August 9. The Alliance for Socialist Unity, formed by the Kangleipak Yawol Kunna Lup and the Kangleipak Communist Party has asked her to continue her fast, reminding the 44-year-old of "some former revolutionary leaders [who] were assassinated" for joining politics and forgetting the cause they spent years fighting for, according to Hindustan Times.
The "Iron Lady of Manipur" had announced on July 26 that she will break her fast on August 9. She had also announced her decision to contest the Manipur elections and marry her long-time partner. Sharmila had been demanding that the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act be repealed.
The secessionist group also expressed its displeasure over Sharmila's decision to wed "non-local man" Desmond Coutinho, a Goan-British activist. According to ASU, a marriage between "Indians" and people of Kangleipak – the ancient name of Manipur – was partly responsible for the ongoing drive to protect indigenous peoples. The group also claimed that Coutinho could be a spy for intelligence agencies, planted to impede their fight against AFSPA and "colonial domination".