Imphal: Manipuri ponies that were strayed on streets in and around Lamphel area have started grazing at Lamphelpat Kombirei field in Imphal West.
There were arguments between Manipuri pony riders and local farmers of the surrounding area when the ponies were brought on the field.
Chief minister N. Biren Singh had instructed the Manipuri pony riders to take care of their horses and not let them strayed on streets for the welfare of the ponies and to avoid traffic congestion.
He had warned that the pony owners who do not have stable should keep their horses at Lamphelpat pony grazing field or to the grazing field at Marjing.
Stringent action will be taken against the pony owners if the ponies are seen in streets after grazing field for ponies are accommodated, Biren cautioned.
Manipuri pony riders guided the ponies that are strayed in and around the Lamphel area towards the Lamphelpat Kombirei Leikai in Imphal West.
When the ponies were about to send inside the Lamphel grazing field some of the farmers lock down the path with bamboos stating that the land has been a paddy field and ponies cannot be kept.
Members of Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association and some of the farmers exchanged argument. After producing documents regarding the land in front of a team of Lamphel Police station who came to monitor the situation the ponies were sent on the grazing field.
General secretary, Loumi Kanba Kanglup, Lamphel, Nongmaithem Ibohal Meitei who is also a farmer told reporters that the field has been utilising by the farmers since 1964-65 as paddy land. Thecstae government had allocated grazing fields for Manipuri ponies at Marjing and green park, Lamphel. However, after looking the convenience, the ponies were forcibly sent in the field, he added.
The farmers agreed the government’s measure after considering the statement of the chief minister. But, it is not a right step as farmers will face a huge problem as they will not be able to utilize the field as paddy land, he added.
The farmers has been conserving paddy land as per Manipur Paddy Land and Wetland Act. The ponies could be kept to some other alternative places including the campus of NIT, Lamphel.
Technical chairman of Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association, Ningthoukhongjam Bedajit said the pony owner is keeping their horses inside the 30 acres allocated by the government. However, some local illegal encroach farmers have been utilising the land on their vested interest and benefits. He said the illegally encroached farmers sold some of the land for their own benefit.
He said some strayed ponies will be kept at Marjing polo complex on Friday.
The association will seek the help of law if unwanted incident occurred to the ponies, said Bedajit.
It was reported that more than 400 ponies will be accommodated on Lamphelpat grazing field.