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No Fear No Favour

Blue Whale game claims one more; Boy kills himself in West Bengal

A Class 10 student of West Bengal is reported to have killed himself over the Blue Whale Challenge — a dangerous online game that has spread alarm among parents and law enforcement authorities.

The student, identified by reports as 14-year-old Ankan Dey from West Bengal’s Anadpur in West Midnapore, choked to death after he covered his face with a plastic bag he tied tightly around his neck with a nylon cord.

The victim’s father said that his mother after he returned from school on Saturday afternoon to hold off his lunch until he had a bath. When he didn’t come down after a considerable time, his mother went looking for him and found him motionless on the floor. He was taken to a hospital immediately but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Reports claimed teenager was seen playing the Blue Whale Challenge, although police have yet to confirm this.

Another student of a school in Dehradun was also stopped from killing himself after school authorities noticed his unusual behaviour, a report in a leading daily claimed on Sunday.

The game that is believed to have its origins in Russia and has already claimed 150 lives worldwide now appears to be increasingly popular in India. A 14-year-old boy in Mumbai who jumped to his death from his fifth floor home is believed to be its first Indian victim.

A 13-year-old victim was stopped from killing himself over the game in Indore when some people saw him heading to the rails of a balcony in his school. The game is also blamed for a teenager having gone missing in Pune this week, and another who ran away from his home in Maharashtra’s Solapur to complete a task. He was eventually found, however.

What is the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’?

Blue Whale Challenge’ is an online game that is believed to have originated in Russia, where several teenagers have already killed themselves over it. The game starts by asking participants to draw a blue whale on a piece of paper, and later onto their own flesh.

The game advances innocuous challenges at first, such as waking up at unusual hours or watching horror movies alone. However, the challenges get progressively dangerous. The administrator usually set the tasks over 50 days. The last task is suicide.

Although Russia has the highest victims, ‘The Blue Whale Challenge’ is also believed to have claimed lives in the UK and the US.

The name comes from the phenomenon of beached whales, a process by which the mammals strand themselves on a beach.

The creator of the game, Philipp Budeikin, was sentenced to three years in jail by a court in Russia for having incited at least 16 schoolgirls to kill themselves. He is reported to have told investigators when he was arrested that he was “cleansing society”

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