Police arrest 10 for playing PUBG post ban in Rajkot

Police said they had seized the mobile phones “for the purpose of the investigation”. “This game is highly addictive and the accused were so engrossed in playing them that they could not even notice our team approaching them,” said police inspector Rohit Raval.

A week after it issued a notification banning the popular multiplayer mobile game PUBG, the Rajkot police have arrested ten people, six of them under-graduate students, for playing the game in the last two days. Police Commissioner Manoj Agrawal, who had banned the game in the city in a March 6 notification, said 12 cases have been registered so far. “But it is a bailable offence. People have been booked but there is nothing like arrest in it. In the procedure, they will be shown as immediately bailed out by police. The case will go to the courts and there will be a trial for not following the notification issued,” he told The Indian Express.

On Wednesday, the Rajkot Special Operations Group (SGO) arrested three young men near the police headquarters. “Our team caught these youths red-handed. They were taken into custody after they were found playing the PUBG game. We have registered two cases against them under IPC Section 188 for violating the notification issued by Police Commissioner and under Section 35 of the Rajkot police arrests 10 for playing PUBG despite ban Gujarat Police Act,” SOG police inspector Rohit Raval told The Indian Express.

Police said they had seized the mobile phones “for the purpose of the investigation”. “This game is highly addictive and the accused were so engrossed in playing them that they could not even notice our team approaching them,” said Raval.
While one of the men arrested works with a private firm in the city, another is a casual labourer while the third is a graduate looking for work. Later, Raval said that they were in the process of releasing them on bail.

The three arrests come a day after the Rajkot taluka police said that they had arrested six college students for playing the banned game on Tuesday. “As part of a special drive, police sub-inspector N D Damor arrested the six youths who were playing the game at tea stalls and fast-food joints outside a college on Kalavad road on Tuesday,” said Rajkot taluka police inspector V S Vanzara.
“Police checked their mobile to see if the PUBG game was running and also checked the history in their handset. We have filed six different cases against them.” Vanzara said that the six were granted bail.

The University police, too, said that they had arrested a 25-year-old resident of Satta Bazar for playing the game near Kalavad Raod. Later in the evening, police had registered two more cases.

The March 6 notification had banned PUBG and the MOMO challenge. “It has come to our notice from various media that PUBG game, MOMO challenge is leading to a violent attitude among youth. The game is also having an impact on studies as well as behaviour, conduct and language of children and youth… Keeping in mind public safety security and to maintain law and order, I hereby impose a ban on playing PUBG game/MOMO challenge,” states the notification.

Agarwal said the notification was issued on directions from the state government. “The notification falls in two parts. One is the person who is playing the game is liable for notification violation. At the same time, people who are aware that they are playing PUBG and still not communicating this to the authorities are also liable for an equal amount of violation. This is more important not for bystanders but for parents and teachers,” he said adding that a similar ban was imposed on the Blue Whale challenge too.