Kohima, Sept. 27: Naga human rights activists today observed “black day” in protest against “random arrest of Naga political leaders by the Centre”.
The day was observed at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi by members of the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR). The activists held a candle-lit vigil, demanding that the Centre release all political prisoners to give tempo to the ongoing Naga peace process between the Centre and the Naga militant groups.
They demanded immediate release of Anthony Shimray, a major arms procurer for the NSCN (I-M), who was arrested from Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan international airport on September 27, 2010. He was arrested by the NIA and is currently lodged in Tihar jail. Shimray, who reportedly had links with China, had landed at Kathmandu from Bangkok to participate in the peace talks in New Delhi.
Recently police arrested a gunrunner, said to have links with Shimray and China, in Bangkok. The Centre has requested the Thailand government to hand him over to New Delhi for investigations.
The NPMHR has been demanding the release of Shimray and other Naga prisoners.
Shimray also began a three-day hunger strike today in protest against his arrest. He said his detention had caused a colossal damage to the peace process. He said long-lasting peace could not be attained through “suppression”. He said several top rebel leaders, including those of Ulfa, had been released by the Centre to further peace process and urged the Centre to release all Naga political prisoners unconditionally for strengthening the fragile peace process. He appealed to Naga organisations to stand behind him so that he is released soon.