A 14-year-old boy allegedly killed himself this weekend, jumping off the terrace of a seven-floor building in Mumbai’s Andheri on Saturday. The police are probing if the alleged suicide is linked to the fatal online game called ‘The Blue Whale’.
“The teenager's friends were chatting on social media groups about his death being linked to the Blue Whale online suicide challenge game. But, we are yet to examine his mobile phone and social media groups where he was active,” a senior police official said.
‘The Blue Whale’ game is based on a 50-day dare in which the player has to tackle each challenge – posted online daily – and post selfies on the private group. The last stage of the game is suicide.
The online game which originated in Russia, starts by asking participants via social media to draw a blue whale on a piece of paper.
The participants are then asked to carve the whale onto their body. The participants are given other tasks, like watching horror movies alone.
Times of India cited police sources saying that they learned about the suicide pact from Manpreet Singh Sahani’s friends’ WhatsApp group. While Meghwadi police said they did not find any representation of a whale etched into his skin – which is normally part of the game – cyber police are scanning Sahani’s gadgets.
Schoolmates told police that Manpreet had told them last week that he would not be going to school from Monday.
Deputy commissioner of police (zone X) Navinchandra Reddy said they have collected the boy's laptop, mobile and other gadgets to try and find out what may have led him to end his life.
Hindustan Times, in its report, cited Sunny Valia, Sahani’s friend, saying that all his friends knew that he was playing the lethal game. “He had in fact told them that he was going to commit suicide, but they thought he was joking,” said Valia.
The report further cited gamers and IT experts saying that The Blue Whale challenge is difficult to track and hunt down, and that there is nothing much the government or police can do to stop the spread of the game.