Tamil Nadu: Police constable attempts to take own life due to loss in online rummy

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A police constable attempted to take his own life in Kodungaiyur (district Chennai) on Sunday, August 27, after suffering losses in online rummy. Murali, who is a constable at Kodungaiyur police station, consumed poison to end his life and was found unconscious in his farmland in Thirupathur district.

Murali, who lives in the Kondithope police quarters, was posted on duty at Anna Arivalayam from June 16. He finished his duty recently on August 24 and returned to his native place in Thirupathur district. Murali was supposed to join back on August 25 but did not do so. Subsequently, his parents informed his superiors that he had consumed poison.

After Murali was found unconscious in his farmland his relatives moved him urgently to a hospital in Krishnagiri district.

The police investigation has revealed that Murali was addicted to playing online rummy in his spare time. The level of addiction was such that he had spent large amounts of money on the game, even borrowing lakhs of rupees in the form of a loan from a bank. However, he suffered losses and was not able to repay the loan. Murali even tried to convince his parents to sell their land to fund his addiction.

The amount of money that Murali lost has not come to light yet. His medical condition is stable, as per The Times of India.

Spate of suicides lead to ban on online gaming in state

Tamil Nadu has, reportedly, seen several suicides and suicide attempts in the past couple of years due to losses in online rummy. It prompted the state government to ban online gaming in the state, as a whole. The Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022 was assented to by Governor RN Ravi earlier this year in April after a delay of almost six months.

The law is currently being challenged by online gaming companies in the Madras High Court on the premise that the games are skill-based (rummy and poker have been classified as the same by the Supreme Court) and so are legal. The matter is ongoing.