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Bandh demanding Shimray’s release ends peacefully

Imphal, February 11 (NNN): A 12-hour bandh in Manipur’s Ukhrul district ended peacefully at 5 pm today called by a number of organizations demanding the release of a cadre of the NSCN (IM) arrested and detained in Tihar jail. All normal activities including vehicular movement, business establishments, educational institutions and offices were severely affected due to the bandh. The Ukhrul district headquarters looked deserted during the bandh hours.
Several organizations imposed the 12-hour bandh demanding the unconditional release of NSCN-IM leader Anthony Shimray Ningkhan from Tihar Jail. The NSCN-IM functionary is reportedly the outfit's “foreign affairs” head arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Kathmandu International Airport on September 27, 2010.
According to a joint press communiqué of Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (Tangkhul students' body), Tangkhul Shanao Long (Tangkhul women organization), Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long (Tangkhul youth council) and Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long (Tangkhul headmen's organization), Anthony Shimray was "kidnapped" by the NIA while he was on his way to New Delhi to participate in the peace talk between the government of India and the Naga outfit.
"We the Tangkhul frontal organizations while appealing for immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Ningkhan Anthony Shimray, who is the head of the Foreign Affairs of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN), have called for a 12 hour bandh within Ukhrul. A prayer request has also been made in all the churches in Ukhrul to pray for his release," the four Tangkhul bodies said.
The joint statement of these Tangkhul organizations said that Anthony Shimray had actively participated in at least seven rounds of peace talk with the Government of India.
"He was kidnapped while he was on his way to Delhi to attend the Indo-Naga peace talk in Kathmandu International Airport on 27 September, 2010 by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), as it has been revealed. He is presently lodged in Tihar Jail, Delhi and undergoing trial in Patiala Court. On 4 January, 2012 his bail was rejected by the court by opening up old cases from 1982. The National Investigating Agency (NIA) Special Court has fixed the dates for a speedy trial from 10th to 13th February, 2012. He is on a hunger strike to protest against his continued detention," the Tangkhul bodies claimed.
These organizations then lamented that they are deeply concerned that he was arrested where there exists the cease fire between the Government of India and the NSCN defying the cease-fire agreement. "It is our earnest prayer that Mr. Shimray be released immediately in the interest of peace," the statement said.

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