The self-destructive Blue Whale challenge which has crept its way into India has claimed yet another victim. A class 10 student in West Bengal allegedly committed suicide by choking himself on Saturday, as part of the online Blue Whale challenge.
The challenge is said to have started as a social media game in which a self-harm group encourages teenagers to commit suicide. The group administrator assigns daily tasks to the members over a period of 50 days. While the tasks initially involve watching horror movies and self-harm, the level of violence increases with each task, eventually encouraging the member to commit suicide on the 50th day.
Here's how the boy died
The incident occurred in Anandpur town of West Midnapore district where a 14-year-old, who has been identified as Ankan Dey, killed himself complying the final instructions of the game.
The victim covered his head with a plastic bag, tied it tightly around his neck with a nylon cord and choked himself to death in the bathroom of his home.
"He returned from school on Saturday and sat in front of the computer. When his mother (Sampa) called him for lunch, he said he will first have bath," Gopinath Dey, the victim's father was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
"When he did not emerge from the bathroom for quite some time, we broke open the door and found him lying on the floor motionless (around 4pm). We rushed him to the hospital where he was declared dead," added Gopinath.
Preliminary investigation has revealed that Ankan was playing the Blue Whale Challenge. Anandpur police superintendent Bharati Ghosh has said that it was the victim's friends who told the police about Ankan's addiction to the game. The death is being investigated.
Suicide bids foiled
In another incident on Friday, a class 5 student in Dehradun was stopped by his school authorities from taking the extreme step.
The boy then informed his principal that he had been playing the lethal Blue Whale Challenge.
"The boy was very restless, and admitted in front of his parents that he was into Blue Whale online gaming. He also told that his friends in school told him about the game," a school functionary told the HT. The school's identity has been held back on their request.
Both the boy and the parents were counselled.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, August 9, the Pune Police has rescued another 14-year-old boy who was said to have left home after playing the game.
These are the first reports of teenagers falling victims to the lethal challenge in Bengal and Uttarakhand.
On August 10, a class 7 student's suicide attempt in Chameli Devi Public School of Indore was foiled by his classmates just as he was about to jump from off the third-floor of the building.
On July 29, a 14-year-old boy committed suicide in Mumbai by jumping off the terrace of a seven-floor Andheri building. It was said that the teen had committed suicide as part of the diabolical Blue Whale game, which he was reportedly addicted to.