Wed, Oct 26, 2016 | updated 08:43 PM IST

Jitendra Singh hopes Irom Sharmila's decision will inspire J-K separatists

Updated: Jul 26, 2016 21:42 IST

New Delhi, July 26 (ANI): Appreciating activist Irom Sharmila's decision to end her 16-year-long fast and contest elections in Manipur, Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region, Jitendra Singh on Tuesday hoped that her decision will inspire Jammu and Kashmir's separatist too to contest an election.

"Every citizen of India is welcomed to contest an election and to project the representative angle of the cause articulated by him or her," Singh said.

"I hope that this will also be a queue for the so called separatist leaders of Jammu and Kashmir who claimed to be the representative of the people of Kashmir Valley, but are constantly hesitating to go to people and contest an election," he added.

Referring to the Armed Forces Specials Powers Act implemented in Manipur, Singh said "The sensitive issues related to the security of the nation should not be made an issue related to social activism or the political activism. The last word on such should best be left at the wisdom and discretion of the security agency.

Armed Forces Special Power Act, which is there in Manipur, has been applied by the state government from more than 50 years.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju also welcomed Sharmila's decision and said "she was holding fast form quite a long time and if she has decided to break the fast then I welcome her decision."

"We would also request the separatists of Manipur, who are campaigning against the society and country, to maintain peace and happiness in the state. Violence will not bring any solution," he added.

Irom Sharmila also known as 'Iron Lady' of Manipur, today stated that she would end her 16-years long fast and would contest state elections from Manipur.

The 44-year-old activist, who has been forcibly fed through a nasal tube since 2000, said she would join politics as she no longer believes that her fast will lead to the repeal of what she termed as "draconian" AFSPA.

Assembly elections in Manipur are scheduled early next year. In the past, many political leaders have met Sharmila and tried to cajole her into joining politics but she has rejected all offers. (ANI)