A number of Indian teenagers were arrested by the police while busy playing the popular game Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile at a cafe in Ahmedabad City, Gujarat state.
“We don’t know what’s wrong,” said Siraj Ansari, one of the teenagers who was arrested by the police along with several of his friends.
The reason the police arrested Ansari was simple, namely because he played PUBG in public places. The state of Gujarat does have a policy of banning PUBG from being played in public.
Initially, at around 22:00 local time, Ansari and three friends gathered at a cafe called Mayur Cafe located in the middle of Ahmedabad City.
Every night, this cafe is often visited by teenagers who just want to play PUBG Mobile together, so does Ansari and friends. When busy in the game, Ansari was suddenly approached by two plainclothes policemen who were not in uniform.
“You play PUBG, we see you, we have monitored you from afar,” said the police who approached Ansari.
After having felt confused, Ansari and his friends finally realized that they had been targeted by the authorities and led to the local police station. They were interrogated for several hours, then promised not to repeat the action again.
A friend of Ansari, who was not named, said he could not understand why the police were even bothering to arrest teenagers who played games rather than taking care of other more important things.
“We play it purely as entertainment, stress reliever. Doesn’t the police have a big duty to catch criminals compared to us?” he said as reported by Buzz Feed News.
Luckily, he and his friends were only given a warning without other penalties. A police officer suggested that they play PUBG at home instead of public places.
Previously, the Gujarat state government had indeed made the PUBG a forbidden game because it was considered to have a negative impact on behaviour, actions, and words for those who played it.
Parents and educators also consider the game to trigger violence and make students ignorant of their school lessons.
Based on information circulating, the actual ban on playing PUBG in Ahmedabad was revoked shortly after Ansari’s arrest last March.
The local government revoked this ban because the school children there had already passed the national examination stage in their respective schools. So, there is no threat from the PUBG game that will disrupt the focus of these teens to study.
The rule also had validity in several cities in other Gujarat states such as Vadodara and Rajkot. The ban on playing PUBG was revoked because there was also pressure from parties representing Indian youth.
When the ban on playing PUBG games took effect, the Gujarat police had arrested at least 21 teenagers who played PUBG in public places. Four of them are Ansari and friends.
As a reaction to the assumption that the game is addicted, Tencent as the owner of PUBG Mobile later imposed a maximum time limit of six hours per day.