Indore boy attempts suicide to ‘complete Blue Whale Challenge’

Indore boy attempts suicide to ‘complete Blue Whale Challenge’


Bhopal: A class 7 student from Indore on August 10 tried to commit suicide by jumping off the third floor of his school building apparently by taking up the infamous Blue Whale Challenge, but was saved by his classmates. The deadly game, ostensibly created by a former convict in Russia, psychologically provoke players to indulge in daring, self-destructive tasks for 50 days before finally taking the “winning” step of killing themselves. Each task needed to be filmed and shared as “proof." According to Rajendra Nagar police station in-charge inspector V P Sharma, the August 10’s incident took place at the city’s Chameli Devi Public School soon after the assembly was over. This is believed to be the second case in India of a student being goaded to take the dire steps by the instructors of the online game, blamed for hundreds of teenage suicides around the world. A 14-year-old boy was allegedly goaded by the online challenge into killing himself by jumping off the terrace of his building in Mumbai on August 1 in what is believed to be the first casualty of the Blue Whale phenomenon in India. Mumbai police are, however, yet to confirm that the suicide was part of the dreaded challenge. The Indore incident comes a day after Pune police rescued another 14-year-old boy, who had left home after reportedly playing the killer game. Indore boy was saved by the timely intervention of his classmates, who noticed he was leaning precariously from the third floor railing of the school. Initially, they thought the boy was looking down at something, but soon realized the way he was bending over, he might fall down. So they caught hold of him and shouted for help. Hearing the shouts, the school’s physical education teacher Farooq Sheikh rushed to help and rescued the boy. “We took him to the principal’s room where he confessed attempting suicide as part of the Blue Whale Challenge he was playing on his father’s mobile,” Sheikh said. The boy was apparently in the 50th day of the challenge where the controllers of the game had provoked him to jump from the building. However, this could not be independently ascertained as neither the boy nor his parents could be contacted. School principal Sangeeta Podar said that soon after the incident they informed boy’s parents and the police. “We counseled the boy and also his father,” she told media. She said that the boy appeared normal and was quite good in studies. The school authorities however did not disclose the name of the boy, saying the disclosure will harm him emotionally. Experts say teenagers are more vulnerable because the virtual world allows them to act freely without the restrictions prevalent in the real world, which seems to give them an adrenaline boost.

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