Ukhrul intensifies protest for release of NSCN-IM leader

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From John K KapingUKHRUL, Feb 11: A 12-hour long public curfew imposed in Ukhrul district by various organizations including Tangkhul Women`s League (TSL), Tangkhul Students` Union (TKS), Tangkhul Youth Council (TMNL) and Tangkhul Headmen Council (TNWL) demanding immediate and unconditional release of Ningkhan Anthony Shimray, head of foreign affairs of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) passed-off peacefully today. The curfew affected normal activities including functioning of schools, colleges, offices and business establishments across the district.Ukhrul town also wore a deserted looked during the public curfew which began at 5 am this early morning and concluded at 5:00pm in the evening. Earlier on February 8, the TSL under the aegis of the Naga Women`s Union, Manipur (NWUM) had staged a 2-hour public curfew in all the four Naga dominated hill districts of Manipur on the same issue. Ningkhan Shimray aka Anthony Shingh, the NSCN-IM point man has actively participated in at least seven rounds of Indo-Naga peace talks with the Centre. He is at present lodged in Tihar Jail, Delhi undergoing trial in Patiala Court.It may also be mentioned that his bail was rejected by the court on January 4, 2012 by opening up old cases from 1982. The NIA special court has fixed the dates for a speedy trial from February 10 to13. The NSCN top-brass leader is also on a hunger strike inside the jail to protest his continued detention,  stated a joint press communique of the TSL, TKS, TMNL and TNWL.

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