Old video from the Middle East shared as Myanmar migrants entering Manipur

By: Vivek J
August 17 2023

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Old video from the Middle East shared as Myanmar migrants entering Manipur


The Verdict False

The video shows tribals from the middle east. This video is unrelated to Myanmar or its migrants entering India’s northeastern state of Manipur.

Claim ID 9c7b96a2


Manipur has been witnessing ethnic violence between the Meiti and Kuki tribes since early May at an unprecedented scale, with nearly 200 people killed and over 40,000 displaced from their homes. Amid this, a video has gone viral on Facebook, YouTube, and X (formerly Twitter), claiming to show migrants from Myanmar illegally entering Manipur. 

One such post on X has a caption in Hindi, when translated to English, reads, "Made a stealth route from Myanmar to Manipur How come these people come to India risking their lives to save their lives.... (sic)." This caption implies that migrants are finding stealthy routes to enter violence-ridden Manipur. Archives of such posts can be seen here, here and here.

However, this video is not of migrants from Myanmar, and the incident is unrelated to the Indian border.

In fact

We conducted a reverse image search of the keyframes of this video and came across an Instagram post dated April 9, 2023. This post contained the same clips, and its caption in the Persian language, when translated to English, read, "Greetings to the hardships of the always proud and stable Bakhtiari people. Having a name as strong as Zardkoh and Zagros is an honor for me and my people." Bakhtaris are a nomadic tribe in Iran.

Taking cues from the Instagram post, we conducted keyword searches and found multiple YouTube videos depicting nomadic life in the Iranian mountains. One such video uploaded on a YouTube channel named “DENA” contained the same visuals as in the viral video. The viral video is flipped and resembles mirrored footage of the high-quality video on this YouTube channel.

A comparison of screengrabs in the viral video and the video uploaded on
 DENA's YouTube channel. Source: (X/Mukesh69972949, Youtube/@dena3225)

Similarly, we also found another video dated April 1, 2023, on a Facebook page named “Yaran,” and its caption in Kurdish, when translated to English, read, “The difficult daily life of the Kurdish inhabitants of a village!” Several tribals, including the Bakhtari and the Kurds, live along Iran's Zagros and Taurus mountain ranges stretching into parts of Iraq and Turkey.

Thus, it is evident that this video shows the nomadic tribes living in Iran and not Myanmar migrants illegally entering India. Amid the ongoing violence in Manipur, there have been multiple reports indicating that there was an influx of refugees from Myanmar into the state. There have been allegations by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that illegal immigrants were causing unrest in Manipur. According to a report in The Economic Times, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that the unrest is occurring due to "illegal infiltrators."

The verdict

The viral video depicts tribals living in harsh conditions along the Iranian mountains. This video does not show an influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar into Manipur. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false. 

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