Bengaluru: Irom Chanu Sharmila gave birth to twin girls at a hospital in Bengaluru on Mother's Day (May 12). She is known as ‘Iron Lady’ of Manipur for her 16-year hunger strike against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state.

The 46-year-old woman had settled in Kodaikanal after her marriage with Desmond Coutinho in 2017. She moved to Bengaluru last year for the pregnancy. She gave birth after 35 weeks of pregnancy by a C-section delivery on Sunday at Malleshwaram branch of the Cloudnine Hospital. Goan-born British national Coutinho and Sharmila named their daughters Nix Sakhi and Autumn Tara.

She told the media that she is more happier because her daughters were born on Mother's Day.

Sharmila began her hunger strike in November 2000, after the fatal shooting of 10 civilians, allegedly by the troops in Malom, Manipur. She had promised to end her strike only after AFSPA, which gave the army extra-judicial powers, was scrapped.

In 2014, she weighted 46 kg, nine kg lower than the national average for women. On August 9, 2016, with AFSPA still in force, Sharmila licked a drop of honey off her hand, indicating the end of her protest, and pledged to enter politics to continue her fight against the act.