Irom Sharmila Defies Opposition And Marries Her Long-Term Boyfriend In Kodaikanal

The relentless and iconic fighter from Manipur, who fasted for more than 16 years in protest against imposition of APSFA in her state, got married to her long-term British friend Desmond Coutinho on Thursday in Kodaikanal.

Kodaikanal: Irom Sharmila, the bold and persistent fighter against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Manipur, wedded her long-term British friend Desmond Coutinho on Thursday morning, under the Special Marriage Act at the sub registrar’s office.

The wedding was held in the presence of Sub-Registrar Radha Krishnan. A simple function in which Coutinho put the ring on Sharmila’s finger was not attended by the families of bride and the groom.

Earlier, the couple has married under the Hindu Marriage Act. They were asked by the sub-registrar to register it under the Special Marriage Act, as their wedding was an inter-religious one.

Speaking to the reporters after the marriage, Sharmila said that she would fight for the welfare of the tribals in Kodaikanal Hills.Her marriage was objected by a local activist V Mahendran, who argued that the couples stay in the hill would trouble the tribal in the area. But the sub-registrar rejected his objection, and the rejection had cleared decks for the wedding.

Sharmila and Coutinho submitted their application for marriage registration under the Special Marriage Act on July 12, and the sub registrar displayed the application on the notice board for any objections.

Meanwhile, a group of tribal in the area has submitted a memorandum to the sub registrar in support of the couple’s wedding.

Although she was defeated in her fight in Manipur, the iconic protester is determined to continue her cause without giving up. She has hit the headlines many times during her more than 16-year-long hunger strike, demanding the withdrawal of AFSPA from Manipur.

Sharmila ended her fast in last August and declared that she would join active politics. She contested from Manipur against the then Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, but was defeated.

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