Myanmar’s Karenni forces, who are fighting against the military, falsely linked with Manipur violence.

Claim

The message, delivered in Manipuri (Meitei language), threatens to capture Kangla, a significant area in Imphal city.

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Rating

Explanation

An ethnic conflict broke out in the Northeastern state of Manipur on May 2023 between the Kukis and the Meiteis. The conflict led to a widespread violence which has not settled down yet. Recently, in a shocking incident a Meitei-militia group known as Arambai Tenggol kidnapped a high-ranking police officer. The state continues to be in turmoil and there is no sign of peace yet.

Meanwhile, several social media posts claim that Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh has received a threat from a Meitei militia group and the posts claim that the video is supposedly in Meitei language and the group of armed men in the video is said to be threatening that they would capture Kangla, an area in Imphal. Some of these posts carry a supposed news article from the news outlet ‘North East Now’.

Similar claims were posted by a social media user and can be seen here and here. 

What is the truth? 

When we did a keyword search, we came across a search result in Google redirecting to the news outlet ‘North East Now’. However, the article appeared to have been deleted. We were able to access an archived version of the news article which can be seen here.

Google Cache Image

 

The deleted news report from ‘North East Now’ claimed that an unknown group of men associated with other ‘tribal gangs’ advocating for a separate state or union territory within Manipur. The article also stated, “Following the Manipur Legislative Assembly’s resolution urging the Government of India to revoke the Suspension of Operation (SoO) with all Kuki-Zo militants, concerns have escalated.”

When we ran a reverse image search using keyframes of the viral video, we found the original was posted on the official YouTube channel of France 24 in English on February 16, 2024. 

In the 4th minute of the video, we can see the same clip as the one in the social media posts. The men in the video are actually from Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) from Myanmar with 30-year-old commander Maui speaking in Burmese. This video is from Myanmar where a militant group is fighting against the Myanmar Army. But this is falsely reported to be from Manipur and is shared in social media with false claims.

Conclusion

The images and videos shared in social media showing camouflaged men with guns are from Myanmar, not Manipur.

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