After banning several Chinese apps, including PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, the Indian Government removed Battlegrounds Mobile India, popularly known as BGMI according to statements made by RTI. A Twitter user named GodYamarajOP has filed an RTI with Meity regarding the removal of BGMI from the app stores and he has got a reply from the authorities stating that Meity has blocked BGMI under section 69A of the IT Act 2000, following the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA’s) request.
BGMI is the rebranded version of PUBG Mobile which was released by Krafton exclusively for the Indian region. As per the Government’s order, the game was removed from Google Play Store and App Store on 28 July. Following its removal, Krafton was said to have communicated with the concerned authorities to resolve the issue but the results were not made official.
The latest RTI response confirms that BGMI was officially banned by MeitY as per the requests made by MHA.
RTI confirms BGMI is Banned by MeitY Based on the Requests Made by MHA
There was real problem of data security… I filled this RTI .. please check out 👇 pic.twitter.com/O7oBuGnopF
— GodYamarajOP (@godyamarajop) September 26, 2022
The Twitter user filed an RTI on 1 September requesting the reason behind BGMI’s removal from the app stores and he also asked whether Krafton attended any meetings with the government regarding the game’s removal. He further requested the meeting’s final outcome and minutes of the meeting. Following are the questions asked by GodYamarajOP:
“1) What are the reasons to take down Battleground Mobile India (BGMI) game from play store and app store?
2) Is there any meeting /meetings with publisher Krafton regarding ban of BGMI from play store? And if so what are outcome of those meetings, please provide minutes of meeting.”
After a few days, the authority responded back to the user in which they confirmed that MeitY has banned BGMI as per the request from MHAs. The reason behind the game’s ban is data security which concerns national security. The response also mentioned that meetings with the game’s publisher were held but the information is not shared as it is confidential as per RTI Act.
Here is the response:
“The due process being followed is defined in the Information Technology (Procedure and safeguards for blocking for access of information by the public) Rules, 2009. A copy of the said Rules is enclosed.
1. Based on the requests received through designated nodal officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) has blocked the gaming application battlegrounds mobile India (BGMI) under the provision of section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 and the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Inf. union for Public) Rules, 2009.
2. Yes, meeting with representatives of Krafton were held.
As per Rule 16 of Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for access to Information by Public) Rules, 2009, strict confidentiality shall be maintained regarding all the requests and complaints received and actions taken thereof.
Furthermore, section 694 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 states that matters relating to the sovereignty and integrity of India will remain classified and are protected by provisions 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act 2005. Because of this, the information requested in the RTI cannot be made public.”
However, Indian players can still play the game and according to recent reports, the game is not receiving its updates. Moreover, the players are requested not to buy UC as Play Store and App Store have blocked its access. Krafton is reportedly shifting its servers to bring back the game as there were reports that the previously existing servers have communicated with Chinese servers.
Also Read: BGMI Ban: Towqeer Esports Director Says Chances of Game Returning is 95%
It took nearly 9 months to release BGMI after Government banned PUBG Mobile in India. It remains to be seen whether the game makes the comeback again and we cannot expect it to happen soon.