Chennai: A spate of suicides after losing money including on Thursday night by a 32-year-old woman has led to the Tamil Nadu government constituting a committee to give recommendations in two weeks for the promulgation of an ordinance against playing online rummy.
The government on Friday set up a four-member committee headed by Justice (Rtd) Chandru to give recommendations for the ordinance.
Justice (Rtd) Chandru is a human rights and Dalit activist and was instrumental as an advocate in getting justice for the Irula tribal woman who had fought a case for her husband who was later found to be killed in a police lock-up. This incident of 1996 was depicted in the movie “Jai Bhim” in which Tamil superstar Suriya played the role of Chandru.
The government decided on the committee following several deaths due to people losing money in online rummy games.
The latest incident was the suicide of a 32-year-old woman, Bhuvaneshwari at Nandambakkam, Chennai on Thursday night after her jobless husband Suresh lost Rs 20,000. The money, according to the police, was kept aside by Bhuvaneshwari to pay the fees of her son who is studying in Class IX.
Suresh, according to the police, was jobless and was addicted to online rummy. The money was taken by Suresh without the knowledge of Bhuvaneshwari. When she questioned Suresh he admitted that he had taken the money for playing online rummy.
An infuriated Bhuvaneshwari got into a fight with Suresh and later went to her room and hanged herself with her dupatta.
On June 5 a 29-year-old woman, Bhavani committed suicide after losing heavily in online rummy games in Manali near Chennai. Police said that she had the habit of playing online rummy and had made good profits in the earlier stages. This spurred her to invest more money only to lose a huge amount in the past four months. She lost over ten lakh rupees. Her husband Bhagyaraj and her relative Saravanan said that she ended her life only due to her mounting debts in online rummy and called for a ban on the game.
Many youngsters in Tamil Nadu have ended their lives in the past few years after losing money in the online rummy games.
C. Rajeev, Director, Centre for Policy and Development Studies, a think tank based out of Chennai, told IANS, “The state government must take the initiative to promulgate an ordinance to ban online rummy in the state. People are losing lives by being addicted to online rummy which has led to several children becoming orphans following the death of the breadwinners of the family. A person like Justice (rtd) Chandru heading the panel of four members is a laudable effort of the state government and we hope that the online rummy menace is stopped in Tamil Nadu.”