Iron Sharmila filed for marriage with her long-time British friend Desmond Coutinho (File)
Human rights activist Irom Sharmila today filed for marriage with her long-time British friend Desmond Coutinho in the hill station of Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu.
Ms Sharmila, 45, filed an application for marriage under the Hindu Marriage Act.
The rights activist who moved to Kodaikanal and has been living there with her friend for some months now, told reporters that she came to the hill town in search of peace and likes the place.
In March, Meira Paibi, a powerful women's organization that that was once her biggest supporter, suspected that Mr Coutinho made Irom Sharmila end her fast and enter politics
Ima Sananabi Devi, a senior member of Meira Paibi, alleged, "Coutinho and some behind-the-scene politicians may have influenced her. Coutinho may be a spy."
Earlier this year, Ms Sharmila, who was on a hunger strike against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) for 16 years, contested from Thoubal constituency in Manipur against Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh; she ended in the fourth position.
Ms Sharmila got just 90 votes; Chief Minister Ibobi Singh won comfortably with a margin of 10,740 votes.
The feisty activist had then said that she would "try again
" in the general elections in 2019 if she lost her contest against Mr Singh .
The 'Iron Lady' of Manipur said she would continue her fight for human rights and strive to protect democratic values.
(With inputs from IANS