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Nepal NGO takes up missing case
Published on 4 Oct. 2010 12:34 AM IST
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Nepal’s biggest organisation of indigenous peoples has taken up the cause of a rebel leader from India’s Nagaland state who reportedly went missing last week after arriving at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport from Bangkok.
“We were alerted by an organisation in the Philippines, the Asian Indigenous People’s Pact, that Ningkhan Shimray, head of the foreign affairs of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), disappeared Monday evening after he emerged from the airport at Kathmandu,” said Ang Kaji Sherpa, general secretary of the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN).
“We are seriously concerned, especially as the Home Minister Bhim Rawal denied any knowledge of Shimray’s arrival or possible arrest.”
Shimray, also known as Anthony Shing, was to have proceeded to India to take part in a new round of peace talks with the Indian government.
He was to have flown to New Delhi the following day. However, even though he was allowed through by Nepal’s immigration and customs authorities at the airport, he vanished soon after that.
The matter was brought to the notice of his organisation as well as the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights by the people who went to the airport to receive him after their long wait was fruitless and Shimray did not turn up at the hotel he was booked in on his own.
Sherpa said he contacted the home minister, who professed ignorance.
“We are going to raise the issue with the Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister (Sharad Singh Bhandari),” Sherpa told IANS. “It is a very serious matter. Nepal is planning to celebrate 2011 as the tourism year targeting to bring 1 million tourists.
“However, if visitors vanish from the airport, it will have a very negative impact on the campaign.”
NEFIN, he said, is concerned, irrespective of whether Shimray’s organisation is banned in India or not, because he is a Naga and a member of the indigenous fraternity.
“Moreover, since Shimray was waved through by immigration and customs, it meant his papers were in order and he was not carrying any contraband items,” Sherpa said.
“If he was arrested due to political reasons, the Nepal government has to disclose the arrest.”

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