Human rights activist Irom Sharmila (44) reached the tribal village of Attapady in Kerala for a quiet retreat after suffering a painful defeat in the Manipur assembly polls.
Sharmila reached Bengaluru airport at 10.30pm on Monday and reached Attapady the next morning on March 14, which also happens to be her 44th birthday.
Sharmila will spend a month at Shanthi Medical Information Centre promoted by Uma Preman in Attappadi. She also told media that she will be looking into the tribal issues of Attapadi.
"I am here in Kerala, just for a break. I am very pleased with your warm greetings," Sharmila said about her visit.
“Kerala supported me a lot during my 16 years of struggle. I am much impressed with Kerala. People in Manipur did not see my struggle,” she told media in Attapady.
She said people of Manipur and she herself need more enlightenment.
“Constructive and transparent system is necessary in politics. In last elections, it was the victory of money and muscle power,” she said.
She contested the Manipur elections from Thoubal assembly constituency against three-time chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and lost, receiving only 90 votes.
Irom Sharmila had contested the elections under the banner of the People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA). After the defeat, she had decided to quit politics.
Considered as Manipur's "Iron Lady", Sharmila had continued her fast-unto-death for 16 years, being force-fed and put on a liquid diet in hospital, to press her demand for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state.
She ended her indefinite hunger strike in August last year and launched PRJA in October.