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10 May 2022

The Tamil Nadu government will form a special investigation team to inquire into the death by suicide of persons who were caught in a debt trap by online gambling, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin announced in the Assembly on Tuesday.

A Superintendent of Police from the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) would lead the SIT.

Tamil Nadu has seen an increase in online gambling related suicides ever since the Madras High Court quashed the law banning online games as unconstitutional.

The government had filed an appeal with the Supreme Court on the matter. In the appeal, the government raised the issue of youth suicides due to online gambling addiction as one of the reasons for enacting a ban.

In March, the former Chief Minister Palaniswami moved a call to attention motion asking the state government to take stern measures to ban online rummy as several families were getting ruined because their youth gambled and lost lakhs of rupees in the online game. "Some ended up borrowing hefty loans while others committed suicide due to staggering losses," Palaniswami then alleged.

With the matter not getting listed before Supreme Court, the Stalin led government is under huge pressure from the opposition to act against raising incidents of online gambling. 

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