Imphal: Police on Sunday forced to conclude a sit-in-protest staged by farmers who were demanding protection of paddy lands in Lamphelpat of Imphal West district.
Farmers strongly condemned the act of the police while asking reasons behind preventing them from sit-in protest who were on a peaceful demonstration. The farmers staged the protest under the aegis of the Loumi Kanglup, Lamphel at Panthoibi Sanglen, Thangmeiband. The farmers alleged that “corrupted officials” of the Revenue department were behind allotment of pattas that led to the shrinking of paddy cultivable land at Lamphelpat.
Talking to reporters at the protest site, general secretary of Loumi Kanglup, Lamphel Nongmaithem Ibohal said that for a long time, the vast land of Lamphelpat also known as Toudhabi Loukon, was used for paddy cultivation. The shrinking of the paddy land areas started when the state government took up various projects by acquiring the lands.
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In due course of time, the paddy lands have been shrinking and now only a meager portion is left for paddy cultivation. Yet, the state government took over the lands for setting up various institutions like NIT, Ayush hospital, etc., and developmental projects in recent times. The farmers used to cultivate paddy in a small portion of the land left with the necessary permission from the government. The government had given the consent to use the land for cultivation on the request of the farmers.
However, the farmers alleged that officials of the state Revenue department allotted patta to many individuals for dwelling.
At a time, the farmers are demanding cancellation of the pattas and protecting the paddy lands, the small portion currently used for paddy cultivation is once again converted into a grazing ground for ponies.