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HomeFact CheckVideo From France Shared As Church Set Ablaze In Manipur Amid Ongoing...

Video From France Shared As Church Set Ablaze In Manipur Amid Ongoing Conflict

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
A church set ablaze in Manipur amid ongoing Kuki-Meitei conflict.

Fact
Video shows an incident from France, and not Manipur.

A video allegedly showing a church on fire in Manipur is being widely shared on social media platforms amid the ongoing conflict between the Kukis and Meiteis in the north eastern state. Those sharing the video further claimed “Pro-BJP extremists set ablaze the more than 300-year-old St. Joseph’s Church.” Newschecker found the claim to be untrue. The video shows an incident from France, and not Manipur. 

Multiple Facebook and Twitter users shared the video with Hindu and English captions,  claiming, “Manipur Sugnu Imphal. Violence arson is not stopping Pro-BJP extremists destroyed the more than 300-year-old St. Joseph’s Church lit. Manipur is burning since 73 days and Prime Minister Modi is roaming abroad… (sic) “

Such posts can be seen here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Also Read: No, Manipur Congress President Did Not Blame The Party For Crisis In The State

Fact Check/Verification

A Google lens search on the keyframes of the viral footage led us to a report by DayFR Euro, dated July  7, 2023. It carried an image of the building seen in the viral footage, and stated, “In Drosnay, in the Marne, a historic timber-framed church was destroyed by fire this Friday, July 7. The causes are not yet known. Many firefighters are on site. “ Notably, Drosnay is in France.

Screengrab from DayFR Euro website

Taking a clue, we looked up keywords “Drosnay” and “church on fire” in French on Google yielded a report by France Info, dated July 7, 2023. It carried multiple images of the church in Drosnay, along with the viral video. 

Church Set Ablaze In Manipur ?
Screengrab from France Info website

The report further stated, “In the village of Drosnay (Marne), the inhabitants are in shock after the fire of their half-timbered church…the disaster shocks the mayor of the town, Emmanuel Le Roy. ” It’s not even that there is a fire, there is no longer a church in fact “, he says sadly, shortly after the start of the intervention of the 41 firefighters and the 11 gears.  (translated from French via Google)” 

Screengrab from France Info website

Also Read: Manipur Violence- Video Falsely Claims Kukis Looted Cloth Shop Owned By Meiteis

We also found a press release by the Marne prefecture and the DSDIS on the incident on July 7, 2023. It stated, “The alert processing centre was contacted shortly before noon for a fire at the church in Drosnay. The means were quickly committed to the scene. 41 firefighters and 11 vehicles were mobilised for this intervention. The departmental fire and rescue operational centre (CODIS) has been activated.”

 Adding, “In order to determine the cause of the fire, the Châlons-en-Champagne public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation for “destruction of property by fire”,  an expertise which will be fed by the collection of testimonies is in progress. (translated from French via Google)”

Other reports on the incident can be seen here, here and here

We were also able to Geo-locate the site of fire on Google Earth, and the same can be seen here.

(L-R) Screengrab from viral video and screengrab of church in Drosnay via Google Images

The video was also shared in the context of the ongoing riots in France, with users claiming that the church was set on fire by the rioters.

Also Read: Old Video From Myanmar Shared To Show Assault & Killing Of Kuki Woman In Manipur

Conclusion

Viral post claiming to show a church on fire in Manipur amid the ongoing conflict between Kukis and Meiteis is false. The video actually shows an incident from France.

Result: False

Sources
report By DayFR Euro, Dated July  7, 2023
Report By France Info, Dated July 7, 2023
Google Earth View


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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