By: Chandan Borgohain
May 8 2023
The video has been on the internet since July 2020. It has no connection to the ongoing Manipur violence.
Manipur has been reeling under ethnic violence since May 3, following the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM) against the Meitei community's demand for recognition as a Scheduled Tribe (ST), an official designation providing certain protection and reservations in government jobs and educational insitutions, among others. Hindustan Times reported that security advisor Kuldiep Singh said so 28 people have died, while Manipur officals said at least 51 bodies were at three hospitals due to the violence.
In view of the spiraling tension, the central government took charge of the security situation last Thursday and deployed fifty-five columns of Army and Assam Rifles, according to an EastMojo. It further stated that more troops were brought in from Nagaland by road and the Indian Air Force brought reinforcements from Tezpur and Guwahati in Assam. In a video statement, Chief Minister Biren Singh said that the unfortunate incidents of violence resulted from a “prevailing misunderstanding between two sections of society.” He appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony in their respective areas and not believe “rumors and unverified messages.”
Amid this, a video showing three people firing bullets from their high-tech weapons at nighttime is being widely shared, claiming that it occurred during the ongoing unrest in Manipur. A user shared the video on Twitter and wrote in Hindi: “This is not a film scene, it is Modi ji's double engine government in Manipur". The same video was shared by another Twitter user who claimed that the firing was done by the Kuki people. “Here is a video of Kuki people firing’s shots at Meitei people. Is this what you guys called a peace rally and trying to be the victim,” he wrote.
However, the video has been falsely linked to the ongoing Manipur violence.
Using reverse image search of a screenshot from the video, we found the same video was uploaded on Twitter on April 29, 2023. The caption, written in Portuguese, read, “I'm in love with these videos with rifle or pistol blasts at night with laser sights or flashlight attached. I will post more videos like this on @lovearmasvideos.” The Twitter profile in its bio mentions that it posts content related to firearms, war weapons, swords etc.
It was also uploaded by an Instagram user on July 5, 2020. In the comment section, the user mentions gaming-related hashtags such as PUBG, GTA Online, Call of Duty, Xbox etc. The Instagram profile (threatty_) describes itself as a “Video Creator” and has added a link to a YouTube link by the same name on its bio. The YouTube channel description states, “Die-hard PC Gamer, History enthusiast, Finnish army reservist (served in 2011). I aim to provide top quality original content of the games I play.” Logically Facts could not independently verify whether the video shows actual gunfire or is part of a video game. However, the presence of the video since 2020 clearly confirms that the video is not connected to the ongoing violence in Manipur.
The viral video has been available on the internet since July 2020. It has no connection to the ongoing violence in Manipur. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.