The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the apex child rights commission, demanded an explanation from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology about how the banned game PUBG Mobile is still accessible by minors. The commission wrote to MeitY after the news came to light that a 16-year-old boy from Lucknow reportedly shot his mother dead for denying him from playing PUBG.
The commission also wrote to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), seeking them to shed light on this banned game (PUBG) and track its status along with related games in the nation. The NCPCR has also urged the officials to provide Council with a list of titles that underage people play, as well as their covered entities and structures, in under ten days of receiving this letter.
NCPCR to IT Ministry: How is PUBG Still Accessible in India?
On June 9, 2022, the NCPCR wrote to the Secretary of MeitY. This came just a day after news reports of the incident appeared online, claiming that the teen had been playing PUBG, a blacklisted game in the country. Given the gravity of the situation, the NCPCR chief stated that the panel would take Suo Moto cognizance of the incident on June 8, 2022, by Section 13 (1) (J) of the Commissions for the Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, which asserts insufficiency and violation of child rights.
The letter reads, “It is beyond the Commission’s understanding that how a banned game in India, which GoI has blocked, is still available for minors. As a result, the Commission asks that your good offices notify us of the causes for the availability of such blocked applications on the internet.”
The commission stated in another letter to the president of the Indian Olympic Association that PUBG has been acknowledged as an e-sport and has also received attention from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
A 16-Year-Old Boy Kills Mother Asking Him Not to Play PUBG
A teen boy was accused of shooting his mother with his father’s licensed pistol while he was in the Army because she prevented him from playing PubG. According to UP Police, the boy then snuck her body inside their Lucknow home for three days, using room deodorizers to conceal the odor.
The UP Police have taken him into custody and sent him to a juvenile home. Lately, Aajtak claimed that there are several suspicious things beyond this murder of a woman by her son. The boy was waiting at the gate well before the arrival of the Police at the incident, and he had shown the pistol that was used to kill her mother. There are also reports that at the time of the murder, the boy spoke to his father over a video call. There are mysteries to be solved, but the leading cause behind the murder, PUBG, remains the same.
It is requested that Commission may be informed regarding action taken in such incidents & be provided with a list of such games which're being used by minors along with their regulating bodies&their regulating mechanism within 10 days, letter further reads pic.twitter.com/Bt4OPA1es2
— ANI (@ANI) June 14, 2022
PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, along with other 116 apps, were banned by the GOI, citing security concerns amidst India-China issues in Sep 2020. As a result, the game was wholly demolished from the Play Store and the App Store. In May 2021, Krafton, the parent company of PUBG, released Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) as the localized version of PUBG Mobile.
While the first police report and other media stories referenced PUBG, it is possible that the said kid played BGMI, which has since been rebranded and officially launched. Even though PUBG is banned in the country, the game is still being played in illicit ways.