On December 4, a special unit of the army mistakenly opened fire at a pick-up van carrying coal miners from the Tiru area to their village in Nagaland’s Mon district around 5 pm. The Hindu reported at least 15 civilians and one soldier were killed. Two days later, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took suo-motu cognizance of the incident.

Against this backdrop, a former defence officer and life coach A K Naithani tweeted a video that shows two civilians with knives threatening men in the armed forces. In the video, we see the troops firing shots on the ground.

When a user asked if the video is from Nagaland, Naithani responded saying, “I have no reason to believe it not being so.”

Twitter user MJ Augustine Vinod, whose bio reads ‘Group Captain (retd)’, tweeted Naithani’s video and blamed civilians for provoking the army in Nagaland to shoot for self-defence. Twitter user Capt Alok Tyagi shared the video with a similar claim.

BJP leader Rajeev Chandrasekhar liked Vinod’s tweet.

The video was also tweeted by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay albeit without any direct claim.

Alt News has received several requests to fact-check the video on our WhatsApp helpline number (+91 76000 11160). The accompanying message is attributed to an army officer “explaining” the civilian deaths in Nagaland.

Old video from Colombia

Alt News performed a reverse image search of the video’s keyframes and found that it was aired in 2018 by Columbia-based news outlet Noticias Caracol TV. As per the report, the incident happened in Hacienda Miraflores in rural Corinto. The area falls under the jurisdiction of the Cauca Department of Colombia.

Colombia-based media outlets Movimiento MAIS and Pulzo also reported on the incident. MAIS had uploaded the viral video in 2018 and stated that the incident took place in Corinto.

On January 5, 2018, former president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos condemned the incident.

Therefore, an old video from Colombia was shared to justify the death of 15 civilians killed by the Indian army in Nagaland.

[Update: An earlier version of this report said that the incident took place in Nicaragua. The incident is from Colombia and the same has been rectified.]

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About the Author

Archit is a senior fact-checking journalist at Alt News. Previously, he has worked as a producer at WION and as a reporter at The Hindu. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at S3IDF.