Two commit suicide in different incidents related to BGMI addiction

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A boy allegedly committed suicide after his friends taunted him for losing in the online game BGMI. The incident was reported this morning from Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district. The teenager is the son of Shantiraj, a local Congress leader.

The 16-year-old victim was reportedly embarrassed after his friends made fun of him after he lost the online game. He returned home and hung himself from the ceiling fan.

On Sunday, he played the game with his friends. His friends mocked him when he lost the game. He was humiliated by this and went to his house to take the extreme step, news agency IANS reported.

Police transferred the body for an autopsy and began an investigation. Thantiya Kumari, the District Congress president who consoled the boy’s family, requested the central and state government to prohibit PUBG-style games since they are taking lives, according to local media reports.

PUBG was banned in India in 2019. The developer relaunched an Indian version of the game under the name BattleGrounds Mobile India (short form BGMI) in 2021 against which public interest litigation is pending seeking to prohibit the game.

Battle Royale games are an instant hit among teenagers in the past few years. Free Fire Garena which filled the vacuum created by the PUBG ban after June 2020 was banned last year. Battle Royale games including PUBG are considered as esports with PUBG now part of the Asian Games as a medal event.

In a similar incident in Rajasthan, a 21-year-old son of a Congress leader committed suicide after failing to complete a PUBG challenge. Pratham Gurjar, the son of Rajasthan Congress leader Kamini Gurjar, committed suicide on Saturday, reportedly after failing to finish a gaming challenge.

The Rajasthan government last year issued an advisory for parents and teachers suggesting measures to safeguard children from addiction to online gaming. The advisory issued by the Rajasthan Council of School Education detailed technical points which are helpful in monitoring the activities and involvement of the children in gaming.

The Delhi High Court bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh in last year had directed the concerned authorities of the Central Government (Ministry of Woman and Child Development and Ministry of Law ) to decide the representation made by petitioners seeking direction to the Union of India to consider formulating a national policy to protect the children from online games addiction and also to constitute a regulatory authority to monitor and rate the content of both offline and online games. Hearing a similar plea (WP No. 13600 of 2021) on game addiction, the Madras High Court said that elected governments are required to take decisions on such matters of policy.