J&K: Online rummy addiction claims Army soldier’s life

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A soldier from Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, named Manithurai, serving in the army, has committed suicide while on duty after losing money on online rummy.

According to reports, Manithurai shot himself while on guard duty. His subordinates were shocked by the act. Further inquiry by officers revealed that he was in huge debt due to playing online rummy.

A few moments before taking his life, Manithurai called his mother and confessed to losing money on online rummy and how he had taken loans from several people and did not want to come back home.

Tamil Nadu has already reported several suicide cases due to online rummy in the past couple of months which led the government to form the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022.

Under this act, all online games, be it games of skill or chance, are banned. This conflicts with recent rules released by MeitY for online gaming and has sparked a huge debate between the state government and online gaming companies.

As of now, the online gaming companies have filed a petition in Madras HC claiming that skill games like online rummy and poker are legal and do not amount to gambling, hence requesting to exclude skill games.

The state claims that the act was formed keeping public welfare in mind and is the only way to further prevent incidents like these from happening. The HC, in its recent hearing, denied any interim relief, and the matter will be heard again on July 13, 2023.

On the same matter, PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss urged for mental health counselling for the people who lost money on online rummy to further stop people from taking harsh actions.