PUBG has run into serious trouble with Indian law enforcement. Last week, Rajkot Police in the state of Gujarat banned PUBG mobile for being ‘addictive’ for children and harmful in nature last week. Since then, two more districts in the state of Gujarat - Gir Somnath and Bhavnagar - have issued the notification imposing a ban on PUBG Mobile. More Indian cities are expected to follow suit.
Rajkot Police Commissioner Manoj Agarwal released a statement saying that ban on PUBG mobile came into effect from March 9 and it will continue till March 30, 2019. As a result of this directive, anyone can complain against those playing PUBG Mobile during the ban period. Those who have found guilty will face action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Section 188 of IPC covers Disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant if the action causes danger to human life, health or safety. Therefore, simply playing PUBG on your mobile phone won’t land you in jail. Although these terms are open to interpretation, the legal action shall be taken if disobedience involves harm or risk of harm.
Momo challenge has faced a similar ban. Momo challenge is believed to force people to perform certain tasks.
However, the ban order exempts policemen since they might need to play PUBG mobile game as part of their investigation. Additionally, the ban also exempts education and research institutions. The statement issued by Gujarat Police reportedly highlights certain aspects of the game such as encouraging violent behaviour among those who play PUBG mobile.
PUBG addiction has indeed become a huge concern for parents. Earlier, an 18-year old Mumbai teen committed suicide because his parents refused to buy him a new mobile phone to play PUBG. An 11-year old boy filed PIL through his mother in Bombay High Court seeking a ban on the game. The high court is seeking the government’s response on the PIL.