Update (05 June 2023):
Another video of men using firearms is being shared on social media with a claim that they belong to the Kuki tribe and that they are using sophisticated weapons like AK-47 and M16 to fire at a Meitei village.
To learn more about this video, we ran a reverse image search on the internet using a few keyframes. This led us to a Facebook post uploaded on 27 May 2023 containing the same video. According to the post, the video shows an armed clash between CNDF (Chin National Defence Force) and armed groups in the Sagaing region of Myanmar. Further search on the internet led us to a Facebook post by ‘BBC Burmese’ that contained a screengrab from the video. According to the post description, this fight occurred in south Kalay City of Sagaing region, Myanmar. Clearly, a video from Myanmar is misquoted as one from Manipur.
Published (02 June 2023):
In the aftermath of the conflict between the Kuki and Meitei communites in Manipur and the subsequent violence, two videos (here and here) have been circulating on social media. These videos allegedly depict the Kuki tribes using drones and firearms to attack the Meiteis. Let’s examine the authenticity of these videos and debunk the misinformation surrounding them.
Claim: Videos show Kuki tribes using drones and firearms to launch attacks on Meiteis.
Fact: Both viral videos do not show Kuki people using gunfire to attack the Meiteis. The first video show visuals of guerilla warfare in Myanmar. The second video contains visuals from two separate videos; one is from a 2019 documentary about the Myanmar civil war, and the second one is from a video that allegedly shows the involvement of state police commandos in attacking tribal villages in Manipur. Hence the claim made in the post is Flase.
A reverse image search on the internet using a few key frames from the viral video led us to a Facebook video that shares similarities with it. This video, uploaded by a Myanmar-based non-profit organization, depicts an attack on a police station in Myanmar’s Sagaing township by guerilla forces.
Local news reports (here and here) also confirm this incident, which has no connection to Manipur. Reportedly, the People’s Defence Forces(PDF), the military wing of the National Unity Government (NUG), launched an attack on a police outpost in Badu Village Sagaing, Myanmar.
This evidence is clear to conclude that the viral video uses this incident as one that took place in Manipur.
A user in the comments posted a screenshot similar to a frame from the viral video with text that reads, “Drone footage shows involvement… state police commandos in attacking.” We took this as a hint and performed a keyword search online, leading us to a YouTube video titled “Drone footage shows involvement of state police commandos in attacking Tribal villages in Manipur.” This video was uploaded by a YouTube channel named “Lamka Talk” on 29 May 2023. The visuals in this video match the viral video from 11 seconds until its end. Lamka Talk is a Manipur-based news outlet. The drone footage allegedly shows the involvement of police officers in the attacks on tribal villages in Manipur. We spoke to C Lian Langel of Lamka Talk, who confirmed that these visuals show the state troopers of Manipur firing at villages.
To ascertain the details of the initial few seconds of the video that show men in combat uniforms operating and flying a drone, we performed a reverse image search on the internet using keyframes from the video. This led us to a video uploaded by “ABC News In-Depth.” This video focuses on the civil war in Myanmar, and its visuals from 15:41 to 16:02 match the initial portions of the viral video.
However, it is important to note that while this video contains visuals from Manipur, it does not show Kuki tribes plotting an attack on the police.
To sum up, the claim that these viral videos show Kuki tribes using drones and firearms to attack Meiteis in Manipur is false. Both videos have been misquoted and taken out of context.