LAHORE: The Punjab police department has decided to recommend to the provincial and federal governments a ban on dangerous video games that are fuelling violence among the youth so that the younger generation can be safeguarded from their harmful effects.

A department spokesperson said several incidents of firing have been reported recently due to video games like PUBG, which is why the police have decided to seek help from the government to ban the online game.

He said the decision to send these recommendations was taken in view of the tragic incident that took place in Kahna, Lahore a week ago wherein a teenager allegedly gunned down four members of his family, including his mother and siblings, after being adversely affected by the game. The woman, Naheed Mubarak, was a lady health worker.

PUBG fanatic blamed for slaying mother, three siblings

The spokesperson further said PUBG was very dangerous for mental development of the youth as its diehard players became violent while trying to complete tasks set in it.

On behalf of the inspector general of police (IGP), he requested parents to monitor their children and prevent them from engaging in any negative activity.

Sharing details, he said Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and IGP Rao Sardar Ali Khan had taken notice of the familicide and directed the Lahore police to solve the murder case.

He said during preliminary investigation into the incident, police found out, along with other evidence, that the teen suspect, Zain Ali, lived in complete isolation in his room and was addicted to PUBG.

After committing the crime, he went to Jaranwala for his mother’s funeral, but did not return to Lahore and instead went underground in a village near Faisalabad. Ali got hooked to PUBG through students living in a hostel, the spokesperson claimed.

“Repeated failures in the game increased his stress and he fired at his family thinking that they will also come back to life as happened in the game,” the spokesperson said.

“Further investigation into the murder is under way and the suspect would be brought to book after fulfilling requirements of law and justice,” he concluded.

This is the fourth such crime related to the online game in Lahore.

When the first case surfaced in 2020, the then capital city police officer Zulfiqar Hameed had recommended a ban on the game to save lives, time and the future of millions of teenagers.

Three young players of the game have died by suicide in the last two years and the police in its reports declared PUBG as the reason behind the deaths.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2022

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