Kohima: Several Naga civil society
organisations have urged the Centre to release a senior
functionary of NSCN (I-M), who was arrested by National
Investigation Agency (NIA), "as a goodwill gesture in the
spirit of peace and understanding".
A joint representation addressed to the Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, the organisations appealed for immediate
release of Ningkhan Shimray alias Anthony Shing, "head of
foreign affairs" of NSCN(I-M) in "greater interest of peace
and respect for his rights and dignity".
A copy of the representation made by Naga Hoho, United
Naga Council Manipur, Naga Mothers` Association, Naga Women`s
Union, Naga Students` Federation, All Naga Students`
Association Manipur and Naga People`s Movement for Human
Rights, was received here today.
Shimray was reportedly arrested by NIA in India-Nepal
border in September 2010 on the charges of procurement and
supply of arms and since then put in Tihar jail.
The letter said Shimray, who participated in Naga
peace talks on several occasions since the process began in
1997, was on the way to New Delhi on the invitation of NSCN-IM
leadership to take part in the peace talks which was scheduled
to be held on September 29, 2010 in New Delhi.
"But on the way to New Delhi, he was picked from
Kathmandu International Airport on September 27, 2010 and
later, it was revealed that Shimary was arrested by NIA on the
allegation that he was there to procure arms to wage war," the
The representation maintained that "it is prudent to
recognise that at this juncture when the Nagas are persuaded
to the path of peace, such allegations and deliberate intent
to identify, apprehend and isolate key Naga leaders away from
the peace process on fictitious grounds is in no way helpful
to either Government of India or the Nagas".