KOHIMA, Feb 9 � 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�.
In a joint representation to 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 of Manipur, Naga Mothers� Association, Naga Women�s Union, Naga Students� Federation, All Naga Students� Association of 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 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 way to 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 organisations said. � PTI