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Video shared by Pakistani journalist not from riots in India’s Manipur

Video is originally from Myanmar and surfaced in December 2022

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Claim: A video shows a woman being shot dead in the Manipur state of India.

Fact: The video is old and not from Manipur.

On 21 July 2023, the chief of Public News’ Karachi bureau, Samar Abbas, retweeted a video (archive) showing a woman in the Manipur state of India being forced to kneel down on a road with her hands behind her head, as she is kicked before being shot dead.

As she falls to the ground, the assailant shoots her again multiple times in the head. A bystander can be seen filming the incident on their phone.

The caption — which includes the hashtags “#ManipurVideo,” “#ManipurViolence,” “#ManipurHorror,” “#ManipurCrisis,” “#Kukis,” and “#Manipur” — accompanying the video is as follows:

The Situation Of Manipur Going To Very Dangerous”.

The state has been rife with “ethnic clashes between the mostly Hindu Meitei and mainly Christian Kuki-Zo communities” after a court ordered the government to “consider extending special benefits enjoyed by the Kuki-Zo people to the Meitei population as well”, Al Jazeera reported (archive).

The state government — led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — first imposed and later partially lifted an Internet ban on 25 July, more than a month after violence erupted on 3 May, the publication said.

On 4 May, a video of two Kuki-Zo women being paraded naked on a road before being taken to a nearby field went viral; at least one of them was gang-raped, according to a report (archive).

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check found through a reverse-image search of keyframes from the video that it is not recent nor from India.

We were able to trace the video as far back as at least 2 December 2022, when it was posted by Twitter user @KyawThu16945209 (archive) with a Burmese language caption:

“Pdfတွေ တော်တော်ရက်စက်တာပဲ
မိန်းကလေးငယ်တစ်ယောက်ကို လက်ထိပ်ခတ်ပြီး ရက်ရက်စက်စက် ပစ်သတ်သွား

[PDFs are pretty brutal
A little girl was handcuffed and brutally shot]”

The PDF is the abbreviation of the People’s Defence Force of Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG) that was set up in 2021 following a coup.

Using certain keywords, we refined our search and came across different news reports — including from Myanmar Now, Eleven Myanmar, Radio Free Asia (RFA) Burmese, NP News, and The Irrawaddy — about an incident involving the “brutal killing of woman”.

Myanmar Now quoted the secretary of the NUG’s defence ministry, Naing Htoo Aung, as saying “that the incident happened in the town of Tamu in June and that at least some of the alleged perpetrators belonged to the 4th Battalion of the Tamu District chapter of the anti-junta People’s Defence Force (PDF)”.

The young woman was “forced to confess to being a ‘military informant’” in the video, Eleven Myanmar wrote. “About 10 people, including two armed women,” were allegedly involved in the killing seen in the over-three-minute-long video, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA) Burmese, which also posted about the incident on its Facebook page.

NP News identified the slain woman reportedly as “Aye Mar Tun, 24, who is a non-CDM [Civil Disobedience Movement] school teacher in Tamu township”. The NUG subsequently “directed relevant officials to urgently investigate the incident in detail”, The Irrawaddy reported.

The NUG on 5 December 2022 released a statement, which is available here on Facebook.

Soch Fact Check also found that Indian fact-checking websites — such as The Quint’s WebQoof, Alt News, and Boom Live — also debunked the claim.

WebQoof noted that Assamese daily Amar Asom “also published the same visuals along with a report in their newspaper”; however, their editor later apologised for the error on Facebook here (archive).

Virality

Soch Fact Check found the video here, here, and here on Twitter. On Facebook, the claim was found here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Interestingly, Manipur’s Cyber Crime Police Station (CCPS) said (archive) they have registered a case against the video from Myanmar wrongly being shared as that from Manipur.

“Attempt is made to identify and arrest the accused persons for spreading false news with intent to disturb public tranquillity, incite riot, and create serious breach of law and order in the State,” it said.

Conclusion: The video is neither from Manipur nor recent. It is, in fact, from 2022, when a woman accused of being a military informant was shot dead in Myanmar.


Background image in cover photo: Tejj & aboodi vesakaran


To submit an appeal on our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com

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