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Manipur Violence: Rumors, fake news responsible for Manipur violence; Swati Maliwal made this demand to PM Modi

Pankaj Prasad
Manipur Violence
Manipur Violence

According to officials of various security agencies monitoring the situation in Manipur, over 160 people were killed in the ethnic violence that broke out on May 3 and was largely fueled by rumors and fake news.

According to officials of various security agencies monitoring the situation in Manipur, over 160 people were killed in the ethnic violence that broke out on May 3 and was largely fueled by rumors and fake news. He also said that the abominable incident (women's nude parade) in Kangpokpi district on May 4 took place after a picture of a body wrapped in polythene in Imphal Valley was circulated with a false claim. It was claimed that the victim was murdered in Churachandpur by tribals.

Citing the video of the Kangpokpi incident that surfaced on social media last week, an official said that it was later revealed that the picture was from the national capital where a woman was murdered, by which time outrage had gripped the Valley and what was witnessed the next day had put humanity to shame. On the same day, barely 30 km away, two more women (20 years old) were brutally raped and murdered. The chaos caused by the fake picture spread like wildfire, forcing the state government to shut down the internet on May 3, the official said.

Political parties and a section of activists have opposed the suspension of the internet. Refusing to interfere, the Supreme Court had on July 17 asked the Manipur government to take up its grievance against the earlier High Court order on limited restoration of internet in the state. An analysis of various security agencies engaged in fighting the fire in Manipur since May 3 has concluded that there is no control over fake or one-sided news being circulated by local newspapers.

Citing a recent example, he said a leading daily had claimed that armed tribals planned to attack members of the majority community in Kwatha village of Chandel district. Alarmed by the news report, the Manipur police swung into action, later discovering that the news report was false.
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The police issued a statement saying that there was no attempt to burn down any village as reported in some local dailies and again appealed that only verified information should be published in sensitive matters. Police has issued a 'drain free number' 9233522822 to verify any information surfacing on social media or verbally and to stop the spread of misinformation.
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A few days back, another video of tribal youths marching in Churachandpur was circulated in the valley with subtitles claiming that tribals would snatch away women and children from the majority community. However, since the video was in Mizo language, which is most spoken in the Kuki-Chin areas, some anti-social elements took advantage and installed subtitles to stir up outrage in the Imphal Valley, where Manipuri Meiteilon is commonly spoken.

I am in Manipur to help people: Maliwal

Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal is in Manipur. She said on Sunday that she had come to Manipur to help the people and would appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani to visit the state to see the suffering of the people. Maliwal, who arrived in the violence-hit state on Sunday afternoon, also said that she is not here to do politics and if people who should be here visit the state, she will go back.

This appeal to Biren Singh

In a tweet on Sunday, Maliwal said he has written to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh seeking an immediate meeting with him during his visit. The Government of Manipur had recommended that I consider postponing my visit due to the law and order situation. After deliberating on their suggestion, it has been decided to fly to Imphal as per the plan. Time has been sought from the Chief Minister of Manipur. I will meet him and request him to come with me to meet the victims of sexual assault.