Gujarat had banned PUBG game last week over concerns related to it being too violent and addictive. As a result of that ban, Police has arrested ten college students for playing the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on mobile in Rajkot.
This is for the first time that people are being arrested for playing a game. However, the police commissioner has clarified it’s not an ‘arrest’ and those booked will be immediately bailed even though there will be a trial.
Earlier, Gujarat police had issued a notification that if people were caught playing PUBG then they can be prosecuted under section 188 of IPC. However, cops, education, and research institutes were exempted from this banning order. The ban was implemented on 9th March 9 and would be in effect till 30th April.
Along with PUBG, Momo challenge has been banned, and the order says that anyone found to be doing so must be reported to the police. The reasons given include the impact on the studies, behavior & speech of children and youth, along with the incitement of violence and anger in them.
The game is banned only in Gujarat and is still legal in the rest of the country. As per the reports, Gujarat singled out the game after parents and educators complained that the game was too violent and distracted students from studying.
While government intervention is required if a game creates law and order situation but it’s not a good sign when the government intervenes in such matters with a direction of arrest. This does little to solve the issue considering that the players are school children and college students who are getting arrested.
The order is issued under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, which is the same section that is used for internet shutdowns, which appears to be becoming the go-to provision for dealing with such issues for government instead of exploring proper solutions.