Just a week after it banned PUBG was banned, the Rajkot police arrested 10 people, including six undergraduate students, for playing the multiplayer battle royale game in the last couple of days. Police Commissioner Manoj Agrawal, who had issued the notification banning the game in the city on March 6, told The Indian Express that 12 cases have been filed so far.
“However, 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 said.
On March 13, the Rajkot Special Operations Group (SGO) arrested three youths close to the police headquarters.
“Our team caught these youths red-handed. They were taken into custody after they were found playing the PUBG game, SOG police inspector Rohit Raval was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
“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 Raval said.
The mobile phones were also taken away by the police “for the purpose of the investigation”.
Raval adds that PUBG is “highly addictive and the accused were so engrossed in playing them that they could not even notice our team approaching them.”
One of the young men arrested is with a private firm in Rajkot, the other is a casual labourer. The third is a young graduate seeking a job. Later on, Raval told the publication that the police were in the process of releasing the men on bail.
These three arrests come just a day after the police announced that they had arrested six college-going students for playing the banned game on Tuesday.
As per Rajkot taluka police inspector V S Vanzara, the six youths were playing PUBG at tea stalls and fast-food joints outside a college on Kalavad road on Tuesday and were arrested under a special drive.
Vazara also revealed that they took their mobile phones to check if the PUBG game was running and also checked the history in their device. The police has registered six different cases against them. He said that the six youths were granted bail as well.
The University police also confirmed that they had arrested a Satta Bazar resident for playing the banned game near Kalavad Road. As the evening passed, they had filed two such cases.
On March 6, a notification was released banning PUBG as well as the MOMO challenge as they led to “a violent attitude among youth”. The contentious game, the notification said, also affects the studies, conduct, behaviour and the language of youth and children.
For “public safety security and to maintain law and order”, the ban was imposed on playing PUBG game and MOMO challenge. Agarwal said the notification was issued as per the directions of the state government.
Explaining the March 5 order, he said, “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.”
The ban is more important not for bystanders but for parents and teachers, he said while also pointing out that a similar ban came on the Blue Whale challenge as well.
Cities like Surat, Rajkot, and Vadodara banned the highly addictive PUBG, followed by Bhavnagar and Gir Somnath districts in Gujarat and the Aravalli district administration just two days ago.