Memo urges PM to free Anthony

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IMPHAL, Feb 20 (NNN): The Zeliangrong Baudi, Manipur today has intimated Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for unconditional immediate release of Anthony Ningkham Shimray, head of foreign affairs of NSCN-IM. Shimray has been languishing in Tihar jail since 2010. In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, the Zeliangrong Baudi, Manipur said the Zeliangrong public and civil societies extend their solidarity and support to the demand of the Naga civil societies for “immediate release” of Anthony Ningkham Shimray.

It said the Government of India has already recognized the uniqueness of the history of Naga and its state of affairs, and that despite more than 70 rounds of peace-talks between the Government of India and NSCN-IM took place, the Government still lacks the “political will” to settle the decades-old Naga issue.

It is not the first time to imprison Naga leaders on one pretext or the other and that major Shoiba of the outfit is now also in Sajiwa jail in Imphal, the Zeliangrong body asserted.

It added, “We urge the Government of India to show its sincerity at such crucial moment as the Nagas do not want to derail the ongoing peace process, and we, therefore, demand immediate release of Anthony at the earliest possible in order to create a conducive atmosphere for bringing an acceptable solution to both the sides in the near future.

Anthony was arrested by National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Kathmandu International Airport on September 27, 2010 while flying in from Bangkok. He was to take another flight to Delhi to participate the September 29-sheduled Indo-Naga peace- talks there. Shimray had participated in more than seven rounds of peace-talks held between the Government of India and NSCN-IM.

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