Amid several teenagers across the world getting addicted to new online self-harming game, ‘Blue Whale Challenge’, the Indian government had yesterday directed major internet sites like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to erase any links related to the game. With instructions from Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Ministry of Electronics and IT, on August 11 mentioned in a letter, “Instances of children committing suicide while Blue Whale Challenge have been reported in India…You are hereby requested to ensure that any such link of this deadly game in its own name or similar game is immediately removed from your platform.”
Originated in Russia, the deadly online game, ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ comprises of a series of self-harming tasks assigned by administrators during 50 days before the teenagers is to complete the final challenge of suicide. And as the game is in full rage in Russia and other Central Asian countries, teens across India have also been allegedly impacted by the deadly game. Here are 5 suspected cases linked to the Blue Whale Challenge in India:
Ankan Dey, West Midnapore, West Bengal: The 15-year old from West Midnapore of West Bengal was reported the first suspected victim in India. While the teenager committed suicide in the bathroom of his house, and reports suggest that Ankan was addicted to online games, the police are yet investigating to find out whether he had played the Blue Whale Challenge.
Manpreet, Mumbai, Maharashtra: The 14-year old boy from Mumbai jumped off from the terrace of his apartment, allegedly to complete the final task of suicide. Manpreet, a class 9 student from Andheri East, as reported by locals, had played the online challenge. However, the police have not yet confirmed whether the suicide is linked with the game.
Manoj C Man, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala: Being the latest suspected victim of the game, the 16-year old was found hanging at his home on July 26. Though primarily the family cited relationship failures and mother’s scolding as the reason of the suicide, later the mother filed a complaint claiming that the deadly game claimed her son’s life.
Indore, Madhya Pradesh: The class 7 student in Indore, who attempted suicide as the final task of the game, used to write down details of all successful and completed stages of the dangerous game. School sources have confirmed that the boy’s friends, being unaware of the game’s implication, never took it seriously even after knowing that their friend is undertaking the challenge.
Solapur, Maharasthra: Another 14-year-old was rescued by the police in Pune, after he left home to complete a task assigned by the administrators of the online game. As reported by Times of India, a police official said, “As soon as we were informed by our counterparts in Solapur, we intercepted the bus and rescued the boy, who was on his way to complete a task given by the Blue Whale Challenge game.”