Arrival at Aligarh on 20 October 2011 10:00 AM
Date: 20 OCT 2011
Srinagar to Imphal Jan Karawan reached Aligarh and welcomed by hundreds of students and activists today as part of their 4500 Km journey to spread awareness about Irom Sharmila and her hunger strike. The Karwan is organized by Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign which is a joint initiative of various social organizations and movements who are extending their solidarity towards the cause. Irom Sharmila, a Manipuri poet and activist has been fasting for more than 10 years to repeal AFSPA ( Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958) which gives army and paramilitary forces unquestioned power to kill or detain anybody on the basis of suspicion.
Karwan of 25 activists (who are from various states of India) marched from Railway Station to Media Centre through roads of Aligarh. A public meeting was organized at the Media center where Mr. Faisal Khan, Member of Save sharmila solidarity campaign revealed the purpose of this karawan. ‘ Irom sharmila is a denied Gandhian in the land of Gandhi. But adhering to Gandhian principle, we are spreading awareness about her in a peaceful way by reaching to hundreds in the interior of this country.’
Jasim Bhai of Aligarh, who was local organizer of the campaign in Aligarh told that Irom is struggling not only for Manipur but, it is her fight for democracy and human values. Professor Raza Ullah Khan of AMU also spoke at the meet and stressed on how the resent in general public is growing as the awareness spreads and in no time, this movement will become ‘people’s movement’ rather than a movement of ‘north- east state movement.’ Balwant Yadav told that it is the time when democratic values are in demand for a fair and free world, and at this time, this ignorance from government side is shameful for the country because India is famous for its values. Satya Prakash Bharat, who is a well known activists and famous for his cycle journey with Baba Amte also travelling in karwan to express his support for the campaign. He told that campaign is spreading awareness and we are happy to see that people who even don’t know about Irom till know, are happy to express their support when they understand the whole issue through our speeches, public meetings and pamphlets distribution programs.
Members of karwan are very enthusiastic. Members include senior gandhians such as Suresh Bhai (76 years) and even youths like Shabbir of 20 years. Mr. Arvind Sakirwal, activist of Gwalior from OJUS also a part of 25 members travelling till Imphal.
Devika Mittal (Member of National Coordination Committee, Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign) told that the group begun its journey from Srinagar and has till now covered Ludhiana, Panipat, Karnal and Delhi. In Delhi, the group was attacked by ABVP right wing extremists during their peaceful march in Delhi University but in spit of it members are moving with all courage to join the hearts of people in a peaceful way.
Total 10 states will be covered by this karwan and around 4500 km distance will be covered. The karawan will reach Imphal on 27th October and meet Irom Sharmila.
departure from ALIGARH 02:00 PM 20 October