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Naga civil society writes to Manmohan



Dimapur, February 8 (MExN): A number of Naga organizations have asked the government of India to release a functionary of the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) arrested by the National Investigation Agency. A representation addressed to the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh was received today from Naga organizations. The organizations have sought the immediate release of Ningkhan Shimray alias Anthony Shing, “head of foreign affairs” of the NSCN (IM).  
The signatories of the letter to the PM included Keviletuo Kiewhuo President, Naga Hoho, L. Adani Mao, President, United Naga Council, Sarah Nuh Vice President, Naga Mothers Association, Aram Pamei, President, Naga Women’s Union, Kelhouneizo Yhome
President, Naga Students Federation, Seth Shatsang General Secretary, All Naga Students Association, Manipur and Gina Shangkham Secretary General, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights.  The representation appealed to the Prime Minister of India to release Shimray “as a goodwill gesture in the spirit of peace and understanding.”  “Shimray, as you are aware, is the
Appeal to PM for release
of NSCN (IM) functionary Shimray
Head of the Foreign Affairs of the National Socialist Council  of  Nagalim-IM  (NSCN-IM),  which  has  been  engaged  in  a  ceasefire  and unconditional peace talks at the highest level with the Government of India (GOI) since 1997. He is presently lodged in Tihar Jail and undergoing trial in Patiala Court. We are therefore deeply concerned at his continued detention,” the representation said.   
According to the NGOs, Shimray was on his way to New Delhi on the invitation of the NSCN-IM leadership to participate in the Indo-Naga peace talks between the Government of India and the NSCN-IM which was scheduled to be held on September 29, 2010 at New Delhi.
“En route to New Delhi, he was picked from Kathmandu International Airport on September 27, 2010 and subsequently, it was revealed, arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), GOI on the allegation that he was to procure arms to wage war,” the organizations said.
The allegation  that  Shimray  was  procuring  arms  to  wage  war  is without  any  proof, the representation claimed. “ It  is  prudent  to  recognize  that  at  this  juncture  when  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 the GOI or the Nagas. Such actions serve as deterrents to peace.”
Calling Shimray “a respectful man” a person “firmly committed to peace,” the representation said his “a husband and a caring father who longs to see his children grow up in the abundance of life. Shimray is for peace and is keen for an early and peaceful resolution to the Indo-Naga conflict.”
Stating that he has actively participated in the Indo-Naga peace talks, the NGOs said he had attended at least 7 rounds of peace-talk with the GOI at New Delhi and abroad.  
“Mr. Prime Minister, we urge you and your office that Ningkhan Anthony Shimray be released immediately in the greater interest of peace and respect for his rights and dignity. This act of goodwill will strengthen our desire for mutual respect and trust. It is in moments such as this that the roots of peace are firmly grounded,” the representation said.


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