After an 11-year-old boy reportedly ended his life in Bhopal due to his alleged addiction to an online mobile game – Free Fire, developed by Garena – Madhya Pradesh Home Secretary Narottam Mishra said announced Thursday that the state government would soon bring in Online Games Regulating Children’s Online Games Act.
Madhya Pradesh Home Secretary Narottam Mishra said at a press conference: “To ban dangerous online games for children like ‘Free Fire’, the state government will soon adopt a law on online games. The new bill is almost ready. and will soon materialize. “
11-year-old boy commits suicide in Bhopal
According to reports, a fifth standard student named Suryansh died by suicide in Bhopal, who his parents said was addicted to playing an online mobile game – ‘Free Fire’. His parents reportedly informed police that on Wednesday afternoon he was watching a movie on television while sitting with his cousin.
However, shortly after his cousin reportedly left the room, Suryansh was found hanging from a noose in the boxing ring. He was immediately taken to hospital but was pronounced dead. MP police are currently investigating the case.
Notably, this is not the only such case in the state. Last year in August, the government of Madhya Pradesh filed a first information report (FIR) against the developers of Free Fire, Garena, after a 13-year-old boy took his own life in the district of Chhatarpur. The boy was a sixth standard student, who said in his suicide note that he lost 40,000 rupees in Garena’s online battle royale game, Free Fire. The FIR was filed under section 305 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), for incitement to suicide against Garena.
Although Free Fire, developed by Garena, is a free-to-play game, it offers players several micro-transaction options to obtain skins and in-game items like guns. There are also several tournaments that require an entry fee for participation.
Madhya Pradesh Interior Minister Narrottam Mishra then expressed regret and also assured action against these gaming companies.