(Trigger Warning: Mention of rape, sexual assault)
A picture of two men dressed in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) uniform is going viral, with users identifying them as the accused in the case of Manipur viral video case, where a mob of men, reportedly form the Meitei community, paraded women from the Kuki community naked in Manipur.
Who all shared it?: Polit Bureau Member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Subhasini Ali, among others, shared the picture on her Twitter handle.
The tweet had recorded more than a million views at the time of writing this report.
What is the truth?: The viral claim is false. The picture shows vice president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Manipur named Chidananda Singh and his son.
Singh has lodged a complaint against those sharing the claim on their social media accounts.
While Ali has apologised for sharing the false claim, the tweet has not been deleted.
How did we find out?: We identified one of the people seen in the picture as Chidananda Singh, the vice president of BJP Manipur.
On going through his official Facebook handle, we found the same image uploaded on 17 October 2022.
The post carried several other pictures along with a caption that said, "Path Sanchalan, RSS Imphal Jila, yesterday 16 October with my son Ch Sachinanda n cousin Ashoka."
Complaint lodged by Singh: We found a post on Singh's Facebook handle that showed his formal complaint against the viral social media claims.
The complaint was addressed to the Director General of Police, Manipur.
He asked the police to take legal action against those who have pasted screenshots from the horrific viral video to one of his pictures, where he can be seen wearing the RSS uniform.
He further said, "It is very unfortunate act of direct allegation by some particular groups, individual to defame and malign me, my family and RSS organisation."
The post also had a copy of the First Information Report (FIR).
Statement from the police: Manipur Police took to Twitter and confirmed that an FIR had been filed against people sharing the picture combined with screenshots from the viral video of two women being paraded with false claims.
Details on Manipur horror: Three women were paraded naked by a group of men in Kangpokpi district on 4 May. The video surfaced on the internet after almost 77 days drawing nationwide criticism and calls for arrest of the accused. You can read our coverage here.
Hindustan Times reported that six people, including one juvenile, have been arrested till now in connection with the case and the people in the photograph were not among them.
Conclusion: A picture which shows BJP Manipur vice president Chidananda Singh and his son dressed in RSS uniform is being shared with users misidentifying them as the accused in the Manipur viral video case.
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