41-year-old civil rights activist from Manipur, Irom Sharmila, doesn’t need much intro. She’s quite famous for fast-unto-death that she began on 2nd Nov, 2000 demanding cancellation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. in Manipur. After 16-long-years of fast, she ended it on Aug 9th, 2016.
Called as ‘Iron Lady, she had refused food and water for more than 500 weeks and “the world’s longest hunger striker”.
Ending her fast, she announced that she’d contest polls against Chief Minister Okram Ibobi. She has said that she plans to become the Chief Minister to repeal the AFSPA.
Meanwhile, not many are aware of her personal life. She has an interesting love story. Here’s Sharmila’s love story with an NRI whom she is going to marry after the Manipur general elections in March.
Sharmila has been in love with Desmond Coutanho, an NRI originally from Goa, for a long time. He used to rush to Imphal (Manipur’s capital) to accompany her whenever she was presented before a local court.
On one occasion, Desmond had faced the anger of local women and he was beaten up by the angry women activists in the court campus after he was seen holding Sharmila’s hand inside the courtroom.
It’s learnt that holding hands and PDA (public display of affection) are not socially acceptable in Manipur and hence he was said to be roughed up. Apparently, after the incident he had stopped coming there. Yet they’re in touch constantly. And now the love birds decided to get married. Confirming her marriage, Sharmila has made the announcement while speaking to media yesterday.
Meanwhile, Sharmila’s parents aren’t in touch with her. Even after she ended her fast, she had no place to stay in Manipur, as her family, including her mother, did not welcome her. In fact, she had to return to her “home” for 16 years — the security ward in a hospital in Manipur.