7 injured in inter-village clash over land dispute

IMPHAL, Dec 16: Altogether seven people have been injured in a violent confrontation between two groups of people over a land dispute.
A violent confrontation broke out between villagers of Senjam Khunou, Senjam Chirang and Haraothel at around 10.30 am today.
While the first two villages are within Imphal West district, the third village belongs to Kangpokpi district.
One party said that the confrontation broke out following construction of a piggery farm on the bank of Sahirok river by the other party against repeated intimations not to construct any piggery farm at the particular area.
However, the other party maintained that it was not piggery farm but fish farm equipped with aviary and greenhouse.
A strong police team led by DIG Range-I K Jayenta, Imphal West SP Themthing Ngashangva and Kangpokpi SP M Pradip rushed to the confrontation site and stringent security measures have been put in place in and around the area so as to avert any further untoward incident.
Lamjahao Vaiphei, wife of Haraothel village chief told media persons that they were constructing a fish farm inclusive of greenhouse and aviary, and they have no intention to construct any piggery farm or pollute Sahirok river.
She maintained that the contested area belongs to them.
At around 10.30 am, the villagers went back to their homes for lunch. It was during this break that the villagers of Senjam Khunou and Senjam Chirang armed with spears and bladers vandalised the construction work and they also set ablaze a wooden bridge.
As the Haraothel villagers tried to intervene, the other party reportedly attacked them inflicting injuries to six persons.
The injured persons have been identified as Ninghoi-kim Vaiphei (50) w/o late Paoneithang, Kamlian Vai- phei (52), her son Lalgin-hao (19), Ngathining Vai- phei (39) w/o Thangmin- lien, Nengdoihat Vaiphei (41) w/o Chungmang and Lalkhogen Vaiphei (56).
KSO Sadar Hills president Thangminlien Kipgen said that the conflict is connected with National Sports University.
He also decried that the villagers of Senjam Khunou and Senjam Chirang put up a banner claiming the contested area as theirs.
On the other hand, National Sports University Haraothel Protection Committee general secretary Khongbantabam Alexander maintained that the confrontation broke out on account of paying no attention to the repeated intimations not to construct any piggery farm on the bank of Sahirok river. People of Senjam Khunou, Senjam Chirang, Phumlou, Mayang Langjing are dependent on the water of Sahirok river and this was conveyed to Haraothel villagers in advance. As some villagers of Senjam Chirang and Senjam Khunou went to Sahirok river today to remind about their earlier intimation, they were attacked Haraothel villagers using firearms in which one villager of Senjam Chirang Maning Leikai was wounded, Alexander said. Chingsubam Rame (44) s/o late Ngouthoi was hit by a bullet on the right shoulder and he was taken to RIMS. Later, he was shifted to Raj Medicity.
He maintained that they never attacked Haraothel villagers nor set ablaze any bridge. He added that the confrontation was not related to National Sports University.
The contested site and all the surrounding areas were allotted to Senjam Khunou and Senjam Chirang by the Manipur State Durbar in 1927-28. A gazette notification issued on December 26, 2016 categorically stated that the particular site is within 40-Senjam Khunou village, Imphal West district.
The State Government issued an order on December 28, 2016 whereby certain areas of 40-Senjam Khunou and 47-Koutruk were allotted to the Directorate of Youth Affairs and Sports for National Sports University. Challenging the same order, one villager of Haraothel filed a petition at Court but the same petition has been dismissed on October 4 this year as the petitioner could not produce evidence in support of his petition, Alexander said. This does not mean Haraothel villagers should leave the area. Meanwhile, an organisation called MESIA has already set a deadline for the Government to demarcate the boundary between Imphal West and Kangpokpi districts. The firearms used by Haraothel villagers today included sophisticated one. As such, the Government should take up necessary action against unlicensed arms, he added.

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