Calcutta Meeting Protests against Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, expresses solidarity with Irom Sharmila

As a part of the International Fortnight on Violence Against Women, Nari Nirjatan Pratirodh Mancha, Calcutta, organized a public meeting to express solidarity with Irom Sharmila Chanu, whose hunger strike has entered its tenth year on 4 November 2008. The meeting was held on 7th December at the Hazra Road Crossing, in front of the Hazra Park, in South Calcutta, from 4 PM to 9 PM.
The programme consisted of speeches, songs, recitations of poems, dances, and film shows. Mira Roy of NNPM delivered the first speech, explaining the history of Irom Sharmila’s hunger strike and called for mass support, in the context of the International Fortnight. She also mentioned that the AFSPA was not the sole draconian law of its kind. Other speakers included Swapna and Soma Marik of NNPM, Nandita Banerjee, film maker who had interviewed Irom Sharmila; Nisha of Lalgarh Mancha, Mitul Dhar of Radical Socialist, Gautam Sen of Mazdoor Mukti Committee, Jayeeta of Matangini Mahila Samiti. Saswati Ghosh (NNPM) recited a poem by Susmita Bhattacharya, and Rukmini Sen danced to the recitation. Susmita Bhattacharya and Juthika Mitra also recited poems they had written. Ruchira Goswami sang songs, and Rukmini Sen danced to one of those. Bipul Chakraborty and Ganobishan also sang a number of songs.
A brief photo feature is being published in this website along with this report.