Irom Sharmila refuses to accept security escort provided by Manipur

IMPHAL: Irom Sharmila Chanu today refused to accept the ‘security escort’ provided to her by the state authorities under the direction of the Election Commission of India.

Sharmila told PTI that she has no enmity with anyone and has “nothing to fear about”.

The former iconic human rights figure said she does not approve of the “VIP culture” of being surrounded by armed forces and wants to be with the people.

On the other hand, Additional Chief Secretary J Suresh Babu said, “The state authorities are doing their part as the ECI has directed them to provide security to Sharmila as she travels alone almost all the time.”

“Security has been provided to Sharmila for her own safety,” he told PTI.

Meanwhile, Erendro, convenor of Sharmila’s party People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) said six personnel from the state armed forces were provided for her security. “They follow her continuously,” Erendro added.

The ECI, on Friday, had asked the state authorities to provide escort to Sharmila who is contesting the upcoming 11th Manipur state assembly elections from Thoubal, the home turf of incumbent Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh.

Sharmila had formed her own political party — the People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) — which has fielded three candidates for the upcoming polls in the state.