DIMAPUR, May 13 NNN: The Naga rights body has urged the Prime Minister of India to release all the Naga underground cadres including NSCN-IM’s foreign affairs head Ningkhan Anthony Shimray as a gesture of good will and expedite the ongoing peace process.
Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) in its memorandum to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh requested for his intervention in expediting the Indo-Naga peace talks and to immediately release all ‘Naga political prisoners’.
“We once again, with faith in your sincerity in settling the Indo-Naga issue, appeal for yourintervention in expediting an honourable solution to the protracted Indo-Naga issue andfor the release of all Naga political prisoners (Naga underground cadres) as a gesture of goodwill,” said the NPMHR in its representative to the Prime Minister signed by its Secretary General Dr Gina Shangkham while adding, “Hon’ble Sir, as you are aware the Indo-Naga cease-fire and peace talks have been in process since 1997. The Naga people have, since then, been waiting patiently for a solution that will end the cycle of violence and bloodshed that Nagas have gone through before the onset of the Indo-Naga peacetalks. However, almost sixteen years since the ceasefire, no end or honorurable solution is in sight”.
On the other hand, Indian state forces and its various agencies are functioning in total impunity; going against the central spirit of the ceasefire in which Indian representatives and Naga leaders collectively work toward an honourable solution for all concerned, the Naga rights body added.
The NPMHR then pointed out, “For instance, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), on 27 September 2010, illegally picked up and arrested Mr. Ningkhan Anthony Shimray, Head of the Foreign Affairs of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim-IM (NSCN-IM) from Kathmandu International Airport on the allegation that he was to procure arms to wage war against India. Significantly, Ningkhan Anthony 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 NSCN-IM which was scheduled to be held on September 29, 2010 at New Delhi”.
According to the Naga rights body, the NIA and other Indian State agencies in many other instances have since then arrested and attempted to apprehend key senior Naga leaders, even going to the extent of summoning leaders to the office. This attempt to isolate and segregate leaders who represent the aspirations of the Naga people for peace forces us to question whether the government of India has any sincere intent to enter into any solution, added the NPMHR.
The Naga people have been patient; we are persuaded that peace is the only win-win situation for both the Naga people as well as India. The dilatory tactics of the government of India and attempts to hinder any viable solution is harmful to all the stakeholders including the government of India,” it cautions.
“We urge you and your office to expedite the peace process. Further we urge that political prisoners like Ningkhan Anthony Shimray be released immediately in the greater interest of peace and respect for rights and dignity. Such act of goodwill will strengthen the Naga people’s desire for mutual respect and trust,” the Naga rights body stated.
Read more / Original news source: http://manipur-mail.com/naga-bodies-demand-release-of-prisoners/