NEW DELHI: India’s top body for the protection of child rights on Tuesday sought an explanation from the ministry for electronics and information technology (MeitY) on why was popular online game PUBG which was banned by the government still available in the country.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) also shot off a query to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) over the inclusion of the controversial game as part of e-sports as well as its recognition from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
The development comes in the wake of reports of a 16-year-old boy in Lucknow city in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh killing his mother who had prevented the child from playing PUBG. The NCPCR has already trashed this theory even as media reports showed that the victim’s family has claimed that the story was cooked up by the local police.
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PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds (PUBG), a multiplayer online game, was banned by the Indian government two years ago. It was among a host of other apps linked to China which were blocked by the Indian government, citing national security issues.
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By the time PUBG was banned, it had achieved a major following in India especially among the youth even as several untoward cases of mishappenings, violence, and mental health issues came into light from people who were addicted to the excitement-generating game.
In a letter to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the NCPCR mentioned the Uttar Pradesh incident and said it was beyond its comprehension that how come a game which has been banned by the Indian government is still available for minors in the country.
“Therefore, the Commission requests your good offices to inform reasons for availability of such blocked applications over the internet,” stated the letter addressed to the secretary of the MeitY.
The NCPCR has urged for an action-taken report from the ministry within 10 days and appended a list of other controversial games currently being used by minors for its perusal.
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The child rights’ body also fumed at the inclusion of PUBG in the list of e-sports by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). It also expressed concern over how the banned-game has got recognition from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
“It is requested that the commission may be informed regarding the current status as to whether PUBG or any other similar e-game has been recognised by your organisation. It is requested that the commission may be informed regarding such games which are being used by minors along with their recognition status within 10 days of receipt of this letter,” the NCPCR said in a separate letter to the IOA.
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