blue whale challenge
(Representational Image)Creative Commons

Online game Blue Whale Challenge, also known as the Blue Whale game, became quite a menace in 2017, claiming scores of lives, mostly of teenagers. And looks like the game, which is said to have started in Russia, has claimed another life in India.

An engineering student of BITS Pilani's Hyderabad campus reportedly committed suicide by suffocating himself with a plastic bag at his residence in Gandipet on Saturday, December 30. T Varun was a second year engineering student and police believe that he may have been playing the infamous Blue Whale Challenge.

"At 10 pm on Friday, Varun's parents spoke to him. Later, they went to sleep in the bedroom on the first floor and Varun slept in the ground floor bedroom. On Saturday morning, they saw Varun lying dead in the bed with his head wrapped in a polythene bag," the Times of India quoted Rajendranagar sub-inspector (SI) K Venkat Reddy as saying.

"He tied the bottom of the bag around his neck with a string."

The 19-year-old did not leave any suicide note, due to which the reason behind his step isn't known. However, his family members told the police that he spent most of his time on his laptop and the matter is now being investigated.

"Family members suspect he could be playing Blue Whale Challenge. The laptop and cell phone of the victim have been seized. As they are password protected, we will send them to FSL for analysis," Reddy added.

Several teenagers and young adults in India and around the world have fallen prey to the Blue Whale Challenge. The game's title is derived from blue whales that are often believed to strand themselves on beaches in a bid to commit suicide.

The challenge is said to have started as a social media game, in which a self-harm group encourages teens 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, they get creepier by the day eventually encouraging the member to commit suicide on the 50th day.