According to reports, it seems that Gujarat's PUBG ban has resulted in the arrest of 10 people for playing the game in Rajkot. These are the first PUBG Mobile-related arrests in Gujarat following the state government's directive that was issued in January of this year that saw several districts ban the game. What's more is, the Rajkot police have seized the mobile phones of the players for "purpose of investigation" going as far as to state that players were so engrossed in PUBG Mobile that they did not see the police approach them.
"As part of a special drive, police sub-inspector ND 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 VS Vanzara to Indian Express.
"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.
On March 6, a notification was issued stating that PUBG Mobile and the MOMO Challenge were banned, the report added.
"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," reads the notification, which was issued on directions from the Gujarat state government following a PUBG ban in Gujarat primary schools in February.
This seems like a heavy-handed approach when multiple studies have confirmed that there's no link between video games and aggression. More so when you consider Prime Minister Modi's comments surrounding the game in January during an interaction with students and teachers which imply a softer stance rather than outright arrests.
"Explore ways in which you encourage your children towards accepting and understanding technology," he said, addressing a parent's concern regarding PUBG Mobile addiction, "But remember, technology should be used to expand our horizons, not to let it shrink us in our life. It should not be allowed to narrow us down, as that would be very harmful for us."
"Like everything else, technology too comes with its positives and negatives. As parents, we must guide our children to get the most from technology. Encourage their inquisitiveness on learning about various apps... like how to build something, or cook something," he added.
PM Modi said he believed if parents reached out to their children with these efforts, they would move from "PlayStation to the playground".
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