Assam chief minister’s remark that ‘Indian army can’t solve anything in Manipur’ taken out of context

By: Rajini KG
August 17 2023

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Assam chief minister’s remark that ‘Indian army can’t solve anything in Manipur’ taken out of context


The Verdict Misleading

Himanta Biswa Sarma’s remark has been clipped from a longer statement. He said the army can temporarily diffuse the violence, not permanently end it.

Claim ID f5ebd5d9


A post claiming that Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has insulted the Indian Army has been circulating on social media. The post claims "भारतीय सेना 'मणिपुर' में कुछ नहीं कर सकती : हिमंत बिस्वा क्या ये आर्मी का अपमान नहीं है? (Indian Army can't do anything in 'Manipur': Himanta Biswa Is this not an insult to the army?)." The post was shared by 'Bolta Hindustan' on X (formerly Twitter), and the post had 233,300 views and 7,555 likes while writing this story. The archive of the posts can be found here.

Source: X/@BoltaHindustan


A video of Sarma saying, "Army will not solve anything" was clipped together with a video of Congress Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi saying, "What is happening in Manipur, Indian army can stop in two days (Translated from Hindi)" and was shared by the Indian National Congress on its YouTube channel (archive here) on August 12, 2023. 

Source:YouTube/Indian National Congress


However, the claim is misleading. Sarma's statement regarding the Indian army's role in Manipur violence is shared without context. He said the army can only temporarily solve the Manipur issue. 

In fact

We found that Sarma made this comment on August 11, and it was part of a longer statement to the media. Hindustan Times uploaded the full version of Sarma's statement on its YouTube channel on August 12, 2023. At 1:00 minute, we see a reporter asking for Sarma's response to Gandhi's statement on the Indian Army stopping the Manipur violence. Sarma answered, "That is the wrong thing. Indian Airforce did that in Aizawl. They spreaded bombs and violence was coming down. Today, Rahul Gandhi is saying that Indian Army should stop the violence. That means what? They should open fire on civilians? Is it his prescription? How can he say that? Army will not able to solve anything. They will only able to temporarily quiet, or temporarily bring peace in the given situation. But solution has to come from the heart, not from bullets (sic)." 


According to NDTV, the Assam chief minister said that the Indian army can temporarily solve the Manipur violence, not permanently. India Today also reported the same.

The video of Sarma's statement is also found on his X account. He wrote that the army is not a private organization to solve internal disputes; it will protect citizens from external threats. He added, "Solutions to our internal problems should come from within, through compassion and understanding.”


The verdict

A portion of Himanta Biswa Sarma's statement was falsely shared on social media without context to claim that he is insulting the army. Therefore, we mark this claim as misleading.

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