How is PUBG still available in India: NCPCR asks IT ministry

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The National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Tuesday sent a letter to the Secretary of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ajay Prakash Sawhney, asking the Ministry to explain in 10 days how the banned online game PUBG was still available to children in the country days after a 16-year-old allegedly killed his mother in Lucknow after she stopped him from playing it.

The NCPCR has also written to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), asking them to explain the status of PUBG and other such games in the country.

The 16-year-old had allegedly shot his mother using a licenced pistol belonging to his father, who is in the Army, and then hid her body inside their house in Lucknow for three days using room freshener to mask the smell, the UP police had said.

The NCPCR has noted that PUBG has been blocked in India by the IT Ministry “in interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State and public order’’.

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“In view of the incident, it is beyond the understanding of the Commission, that how a banned game in India, which has been blocked by the Government of India is still available for use by minors,’’the Commission has said in its letter asking the Ministry to explain the “reasons for availability of such blocked applications over the internet.’’

In its second letter to the president IOA, Narinder Dhruv Batra, the NCPCR has said it has noted that PUBG has been recognised internationally as an e-sport and has further received recognition from the Olympic Council of Asia. In light of this, the Commission has questioned IOA as to whether it has been recognised as an e-sport by them as well.

“We have also asked the authorities what is the regulating mechanism for such games. If these games are blocked in the country, how do children continue to have access to them? This is a matter of great concern to us, and needs to be addressed,” said NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo, speaking with The Indian Express.





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