Irom Sharmila ties knot with long-time partner

17 Aug 2017

Manipur civil rights activist Irom Sharmila married her long-time partner Desmond Coutinho, a British national, under the Special Marriage Act at the sub-registrar's office here this morning.
The wedding was held in the presence of sub-registrar Radhakrishnan with Coutinho putting the ring on Sharmila's finger. It was a simple function and the families of the bride and groom were absent. Earlier, they married under the Hindu Marriage Act and were asked by the sub-registrar to register it under the Special Marriage Act as their wedding was an inter-religious one. Sharmila told newspersons that Kodaikanal was a peaceful place and her search for peace had ended here. The rights activist said she would raise her voice for the welfare of tribals in Kodaikanal hills.
The wedding was objected to by a local activist V Mahendran, who contended that if the couple stayed in the hills, tribals in the area would face law and order problems. However, the sub-registrar rejected the objection, clearing the decks for Sharmila's wedding with Coutinho. The couple had submitted their application for marriage registration under the Special Marriage Act on July 12 and the Sub-Registrar had called for objections, if any, within 30 days time. A group of tribals in the area, including Palani Malai Pulaiyan and Paliyar had submitted a memorandum to the Sub- Registrar in support of the Sharmila-Coutinho wedding.