Indian court grants bail for activist fasting for 16 years

IMPHAL, India (AP) — An Indian court has granted bail to a hunger-striking activist who has been force-fed for nearly 16 years, after she assured the judge that she planned to end her fast.

Babloo Loitongbam, a rights activist close to Irom Sharmila, says he expects her to be freed later Tuesday, once the paperwork is processed.

Sharmila has not eaten voluntarily since Nov. 5, 2000, when she began fasting to protest an Indian law that suspends human rights protections in conflict areas, including the northeastern state of Manipur, which has long been plagued by uprisings by ethnic separatist militants and violent government crackdowns.

Three days before she began her hunger strike, 10 civilians were killed by paramilitary troops in Malom, a small town outside Imphal, the Manipur state capital.

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