English, Fake News

ITLF’s Apology Letter to Kuki Community over Manipur Conflict Proven Fake


A purported press release, allegedly issued by the Indigenous Tribal Leader’s Forum (ITLF), a conglomerate of recognized tribal groups in Manipur, is being widely circulated on social media claiming that the organization has issued an apology on 12 July 2023 to the Kuki people for misguidance and conflicts with the Meitei people. Additionally, some users are sharing a screenshot of a Times of India news article that reported on this letter. Let’s now verify the authenticity of the claims made in the post.

Claim: Press Release issued by the Indigenous Tribal Leader’s Forum (ITLF) on 12 July 2023 apologizing to the Kuki people for misguidance and conflicts with the Meitei people.

Fact: ITLF has clarified that the press release attributed to them on 12 July 2023 was fabricated and falsely associated with their organization. This press release was then turned into a news story by both the ANI news agency and the Times of India. Subsequently, ANI retracted the story and issued an apology. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

To verify the credibility of the press release, we have examined the official website of the ITLF. Our findings indicate that there is no such press release offering an apology to the Kuki community. On the contrary, we discovered that they have released another statement clarifying that a fabricated press release falsely attributed to the ITLF on 12 July 2023, was transformed into a news story by the ANI news agency. This story was subsequently published on the Times of India website under the headline: “Manipur violence: Indigenous Tribal Leader Forum extends apology to Kuki Zo people for ‘misguidance, conflict with Meitei people

The letter additionally mentions that they had requested the media and others to contact them directly or refer to their official social media accounts and website for clarification. However, they expressed their disappointment as the ANI news agency published a news article without verifying its authenticity or reaching out to them for clarification. The letter emphasizes that, following standard journalistic practices, they demand an immediate retraction of the story by ANI & TOI and the issuance of a clear statement announcing the withdrawal.

Subsequently, ANI retracted the story and offered an apology for the inaccurate reporting. However, as of the time of writing this article, the Times of India’s article has not been retracted.

Furthermore, in a conversation with The Quint, Ginza Vualzong, the spokesperson of ITLF, whose signature appeared on the viral letter, clarified that he did not sign any such letter and declared it to be entirely fake.

In conclusion, a fabricated letter is being falsely attributed to the ITLF, claiming to offer apologies to the Kuki community for their alleged misguidance and conflicts with the Meitei people.


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