A local activist has objected the proposed marriage of human rights campaigner, Irom Sharmila with her long-time partner at the office of the sub-registrar in Kodaikanal. The activist, V Mahendran, from Pethuparai near Kodaikanal had filed a petition against Sharmila’s proposed marriage with Desmond Coutinho, a British citizen.
The activist contended that if the couple was given consent, they would settle in Kodaikanal permanently. But this isn’t in favor of the interests of local inhabitants and safety of the place.
In his plea, the activist claimed that Coutinho was in charge of a website, involved in activities around the world. Thus, their stay here would affect peace in the hill station.
Sharmila visited the sub registrar’s office in Kodaikanal on Wednesday to submit documents and complete other formalities. She moved to the town to live with her partner, who is an activist. This comes soon after her political party, People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance, lost in the Manipur polls by garnering only 90 votes. Getting permission for the marriage as their marriage is inter-religious was not easy and has to be registered under the Special Marriage Act, which will require a 30-day period.
Coutinho said, “Once the paper works are accepted, within three months we can pick a day for our wedding… We will enjoy our private life post marriage. We will speak to the press post-marriage and till then we would love to be left alone.”
Sharmila is known for her fierce resistance against the Armed Forces Act in Manipur. Human rights activist Sharmila, on 5 November 2000, began a hunger strike which she ended on 9 August 2016, after 16 years of fasting. Having refused food and water for more than 500 weeks, she has been called “the world’s longest hunger striker”.