A distressing video from Myanmar showing a woman's beheading is viral online with the false claim that the incident took place in Manipur where Kuki militants dressed up as Meiteis and killed her. BOOM found that the video is from Myanmar and the incident took place on February 19, 2022.
The video shows a man using a knife repeatedly to kill the woman lying down on the ground.
The deathly conflict in Manipur between the Kuki and Meitei communities began in early May after the High Court asked the state government to consider including Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribe list, a move that was criticised by the Supreme Court as well. One particularly distressing video went viral on July 19 where two Kuki women were paraded naked and assaulted by a mob of Meitei men in Thoubal, Kangpokpi. The Manipur Police has made seven arrests in the case so far, including the main accused, Huirem Herodas. BOOM has debunked several misleading claims around the Manipur clashes since May 2023. Read our fact-checks here.
BOOM has not included visuals from the video due to its distressing nature.
BOOM found that the video is from February 19, 2022 and was taken in Myanmar where members of the Pyu Saw Htee militia beheaded a woman named Nandar in the Myaing township in Magway.
A reverse image search of some key visuals from the video led us to a gore website that had shared the same clip on June 29, 2022.
The BOOM Myanmar team also confirmed that the video was from Myanmar and not Manipur while providing more details about the incident.
A Facebook post by Burmese journalist Mratt Kyaw Thu informed that the incident took place on February 19, 2022.
According to this article published on June 28, 2022 by Khit Thit Media, a Myanmar-based news agency, Nandar was killed by Pyu Saw Htee for helping a policeman from the civil disobedience movement escape their village, Kyanseint. The woman's clothes in the viral video matched the visuals in the feature image of this article.
The Pyu Saw Htee is an ultra-nationalist group trained by the junta and is known to suppress any forms of dissent against the military in Myanmar.
The report states that earlier, this video went viral in Myanmar as soldiers of the PDF executing the woman. The PDF or Public Defence Force is the armed wing of the National Unity Government of Myanmar that was formed after the 2021 coup.
While quoting one of PDF's officials in Myaing township, the article explained that Zaw Lin Aung, a police officer in the village, was participating in the civil disobedience movement. When the Pyu Saw Htee found out, they began searching for Lin Aung who escaped from the village with Nandar's help. They later nabbed Nandar and executed her as a way of warning the rest of the villagers about helping any rebel forces.
The conflict in Myanmar began after the country’s elected government, National League of Democracy (NLD), headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, was overthrown following a military coup in 2021. The military junta began a severe crackdown to control the revolting public in the form of bombings, beheadings, and raids.
The Myanmar junta is fighting the NUG or the National Unity Government that was formed by NLD leaders who were overthrown during the coup. The People’s Defence Force (PDF) is a part of the NUG, comprising 60,000 soldiers that fight alongside ethnic armies with the aim to restore democracy in Myanmar.
(With inputs from BOOM Myanmar)
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