It’s been a year since popular mobile game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) launched in India. The game has caused quite a stir in the country, so much so that it found mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to students in January this year.
PUBG is also infamous. In January, an 11-year-old boy had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Bombay high court to ban the game on grounds of it being aggressive and promoting cyber bullying. The fair share of the Tencent-backed multiplayer game’s criticism comes from parents and government authorities who are not happy with its violent gameplay. They claim the game is addictive and incites violence in children.
On March 9, police commissioner of Rajkot in Gujarat released a statement about the ban on playing PUBG. The statement said the ban would continue till March 30. Following this circular, other cities in Gujarat including Bhavnagar and Gir Somnath too placed a ban on the game.
According to the government notice, action can be taken against offenders/gamers if a complaint is received against them for playing playing PUBG during the ban period.
Jagruti Pandya, chairperson of Gujarat Child rights body, was quoted by PTI saying, “The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had sent a letter to all states and recommended a ban on the game. All the states are required to implement it. Looking at the negative effects of the game, we had recently sent a letter to the state government recommending a ban on the game.”
The ban doesn’t apply on policemen who are supposed to play or use the game for investigation purposes.