An old video from March 2022 of security personnel at a polling station beating up political workers allegedly involved in vandalising Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the state assembly election is being shared with the false claim that it is a recent incident of Manipur Police beating unarmed Kuki villagers.
Clashes between the Meitei community and the Kuki tribe in Manipur started May 3, 2023, with fresh violence erupting on July 26, 2023, in the North Eastern state's Moreh Bazar area, according to news reports. The role of the Manipur Police has been criticised for failing to control the violence in the state. Two Kuki women who were seen in the horrific video where they were paraded naked and sexually assaulted told The Wire that Manipur Police had been present at the scene of the crime but did not help them.
The 2.50 minutes video shows security forces beating up a group of men and pushing them to the ground.
The video is being shared with the caption, "*Manipur Police attrocities on Kuki-Zo villagers (unarmed)* Manipur Police atrocity on Kuki villagers. Another proof that these atrocities are state-sponsored."
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The same video is being widely shared on Facebook with the misleading claim.
BOOM found that the viral video is from March 2022 when security personnel at a polling station beat up political workers allegedly involved in vandalising Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). Violence had broken out at Saibol polling station under Tengnoupal assembly constituency in Manipur during the 2022 assembly election in the state.
We contacted Linda Chhakchhuak, an independent journalist who helped us find a video uploaded on March 5, 2022, on YouTube from the same incident where we can see the same people present with the location also the same.
The caption of the video reads, "MLA ELECTION 2nd phase Amun:42/13 saibol polling station,Tengnoupal AC*". The caption mentions that the video was shot during the second phase of the assembly election during polling at Saibol polling station under the Tengnoupal assembly constituency in Manipur.
The background visuals in the video and the people present in it match exactly with the viral video.
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At the end of the video, the person shooting the video also show the polling station that has been vandalised.
We then compared the visuals seen in the viral video with the above YouTube video, and noticed several similarities in both - like the people present and the car seen are the same which indicates that it is from the same incident
Taking a hint from this we ran a keyword search and found news reports from March 2022 reporting on the vandalisation at Saibol polling station and subsequent arrests after that.
Manipur Chronicle on March 6, 2022, reported that Tengnoupal police had registered a case against six people arrested in connection with their alleged involvement in smashing EVM at 42/13 Saibol polling station under Tengnoupal assembly constituency during the second phase polling of 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.
We also found a news report from March 6, 2022, by The Sangai Express reporting on six people being arrested and the Tengnoupal police registering a suo moto case against Naga People's Front (NPF) workers for destroying an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and threatening polling officials at 42/42 Rilram Centre under Tengnoupal Assembly Constituency
The report further stated that about 30-40 supporters of NPF barged into the polling station and obstructed the poll officials from performing their assigned duties and they allegedly destroyed an EVM.
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