Police arrests ten in India for playing PUBG, calls it ‘demon in every house’

PUBG is a hugely popular smartphone game. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 14 March 2019
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Police arrests ten in India for playing PUBG, calls it ‘demon in every house’

  • The arrests occurred Wednesday in western Gujarat state, where local authorities enforced an outright ban on the mobile game
  • Parents and educators say the game incites violence and distracts students from their studies

AHMEDABAD, India: Indian police have arrested ten university students for playing PUBG, the hugely popular smartphone game described by one minister as a “demon in every house.”
The arrests occurred Wednesday in western Gujarat state, where local authorities enforced an outright ban on PUBG last week over concerns about its impact on the “behavior, conduct and language” of those playing it.
The students were released on bail later the same day, police inspector V.S. Vanzara said Thursday.
Another police official, Rohit Raval, told the Indian Express newspaper the game was “highly addictive and the accused were so engrossed in playing” they did not even see police approaching.
Gujarat is the only Indian state to ban the game — which has been downloaded more than 100 million times around the world.
But concern has been raised in other parts of the country, where close to half a billion people are online and cheap smartphones and data plans are bringing more first-time users into the digital realm.
Parents and educators say the game incites violence and distracts students from their studies.
A minister in coastal Goa state described the PUBG as “a demon in every house.” Last month, a mother complained to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about her son’s addiction to online games during a public interaction and he replied: “Is this the PUBG one?“
Often likened to the blockbuster book and film series “The Hunger Games,” PUBG is free to download and pits players stranded on islands against one another in a virtual fight to the death.


Egyptian singer Sherine banned after claiming lack of free speech

Updated 23 March 2019
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Egyptian singer Sherine banned after claiming lack of free speech

  • The singer, who hosts the Arabic version of “The Voice,” apologized again after the latest remarks in a TV interview aired late Friday, saying she was joking
  • Last year, Sherine was sentenced to six months in prison over a similar clip from a concert in which she joked that the Nile is polluted

CAIRO: An Egyptian singer has been banned from performing in her home country after suggesting that it does not respect free speech.
A video clip circulated online shows Sherine Abdel-Wahab, during a performance in Bahrain, saying: “Here I can say whatever I want. In Egypt, anyone who talks gets imprisoned.”
Egypt’s Musicians Union responded late Friday by barring the singer, popularly known by her first name, from performing. It also summoned her for questioning.
Samir Sabry, a pro-government lawyer with a reputation for moral vigilantism and suing celebrities, filed a complaint against the singer accusing her of “insulting Egypt and inviting suspicious rights groups to interfere in Egypt’s affairs.”
Last year, Sherine was sentenced to six months in prison over a similar clip from a concert in which she joked that the Nile is polluted. The sentence was suspended upon appeal. She apologized for the remark, calling it a “bad joke.”
The singer, who hosts the Arabic version of “The Voice,” apologized again after the latest remarks in a TV interview aired late Friday, saying she was joking.
“I am very tired. I made a mistake. I am sorry. I appeal the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, who is our father. I feel that I was persecuted. I did nothing. I love Egypt,” she said.
Egyptian authorities have waged an unprecedented crackdown on dissent since President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi led the military overthrow of Mohammed Mursi in 2013. The local media is dominated by pro-government outlets that attack anyone seen as criticizing the country or its leaders, and several people have been jailed or fined for violating vaguely written laws outlawing such criticism.