Online gambling claims two more lives in Tamil Nadu, PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss urges government action

Online gambling claims two more lives in Tamil Nadu, PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss urges government action


Two individuals in Tamil Nadu died by suicide due to financial losses incurred from online gambling. Anbumani Ramadoss, a politician and president of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), expressed his deep concerns over these incidents and criticized the state government for its inaction in curbing online gambling, reported Tamil Asianet News.

The most recent victim, Ramaiah Bhukala, a student from Andhra Pradesh, was studying at a private engineering college near Thirupperumbudur in Kanchipuram district. Ramaiah reportedly hanged himself in his college hostel room after losing significant amounts of money in online gambling. According to Ramadoss, Ramaiah lost several lakhs of his own money and an additional Rs. 3 lakh borrowed from fellow students in an attempt to recover his losses. The pressure to repay these debts and his struggle with fighting his gambling addiction ultimately led to his suicide.

Ramaiah’s death is the ninth suicide in Tamil Nadu related to online gambling in the last six months. The series of suicides began after the Madras High Court ruled on November 10 last year that the Online Gambling Prohibition Act does not apply to skill-based games like rummy and poker. Another recent victim, Srinivasan, an employee of a private financial company from Mangat, also took his life on May 14 due to similar reasons.

In a tweet, Ramadoss expressed his condolences to Ramaiah’s family and criticized the Tamil Nadu government for not taking immediate action to appeal the High Court’s decision in the Supreme Court. He argued that the state government should have pushed for an expedited hearing to seek a stay on the ruling, particularly because of the impending summer vacation of the Supreme Court that starts May 20th, which could delay any potential ban on online gambling for at least two months.

Ramadoss accused the government of neglecting its duty to protect citizens from the dangers of online gambling, suggesting that the delay in seeking legal recourse might indicate a preference for protecting the interests of online gambling companies over public welfare.

“The Tamil Nadu government has a duty to protect the people of Tamil Nadu from the clutches of the online gambling monster,” Ramadoss stated. He urged the government to take immediate steps to bring the case to the Supreme Court’s vacation bench to secure a stay on the High Court judgment, thereby preventing further loss of lives.
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