A report has been sought from the state government by the West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) on ways to block the internet "rape-games." These video games made by a Japanese firm challenge a player to rape women.
"The commission has expressed serious concerns over the matter as there are reports that children, particularly adolescents, are getting addicted to the rape-games.
"We have asked the home secretary to submit a report in four weeks on how the games can be blocked using the information technology act," Sujay Kumar Haldar, commission's joint secretary, told IANS.
WBHRC took suo motu cognisance of the issue after several child psychiatrists expressed concern and demanded that the game be blocked on the internet.
One such 3D erotic video game "Rapelay", made by Japanese firm Illusion and released in April 2006, revolves around a male character who stalks and rapes a mother and her two daughters.
The game has been banned in several countries including Argentina, Malaysia and Thailand. Similar forms of the game are available on the internet.
The games are easily available online with several file sharing websites offering a free download. Besides, a host of gaming websites also offer the rape-games online for free.
A Calcutta High Court lawyer said the government has the right to block the game by using Section 67 of the IT Act 2000.
"The section makes punishable the publication in electronic form any material which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or tends to deprave and corrupt people exposed to it, and carries a maximum punishment of 10 years' imprisonment," he said.
Child psychiatrist and former chairperson of West Bengal Child Welfare Committee, Hiranmay Saha welcomed the WBHRC's intervention in the matter.
"I have witnessed several cases where criminal sexual behaviour manifested in children, particularly adolescents, due to such games," said Saha, adding that such games affected all age groups, although their influence is seen most on adolescents.