Blue Whale suicide probe: MP boy had told friends he was playing the game

Police were investigating if the Blue Whale game responsible for scores of deaths around the world, including India, drove the Class 11 student to death.

bhopal Updated: Sep 05, 2017 00:09 IST
Anupam Pateriya
Anupam Pateriya
Hindustan Times, Sagar/Bhopal
Blue Whale,Blue Whale Challenge,Suicide probe
A Class 11 boy from in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh district committed suicide by jumping in front of a train on Saturday night.(File Photo)

Friends of Satvik Pandey told police that he mentioned the Blue Whale Challenge a few days before jumping in front of a train in Madhya Pradesh’s Damoh, underscoring that the boy died because the dangerous online game.

A CCTV camera installed in a house near the railway tracks recorded the tragedy on Saturday.

Police were investigating if the game responsible for scores of deaths around the world, including India, drove the Class 11 student to death.

The game created by a former Russian convict provokes players to do self-destructive tasks for 50 days before taking the final step of death by suicide.

“Some days ago I told him that he should also try a new game that I had downloaded on my mobile phone. But he told me he is playing Blue Whale and that it’s interesting,” said one of his friends.

Another friend confirmed that Satvik had mentioned playing the game.

Satvik’s family, however, denied Blue Whale drove him to suicide. They said he took the extreme step out of frustration as he was weak in mathematics.

According to investigating officer Pradeep Soni, “His friends never saw him playing it. And his family members said he had no connection with the Blue Whale game.”

Police are awaiting a report from cyber experts analysing the content of the teenager’s cell phone.

“Once the experts unlock the phone and look into the data, it will become clear whether the boy committed suicide playing the game,” Soni said on Monday.

The Facebook account of the boy showed he shared a scary video, called A Mysterious Doll, a few days ago.

Authorities at Nav Jagriti School, where the boy studied, said they had no idea what he was playing on his phone.

School director M Varnawar addressed the students on Monday morning and appealed to them not to play games that endangers their life and brings misery to their families.

The Damoh tragedy is the latest in a string of cases reported from across India of deaths or suicide attempts linked to the lethal game.

It is so addictive that a 19-year-old college student found hanging from a ceiling fan in his Madurai home last week scrawled in his suicide note: “You can enter it, but cannot exit the game.”

Before him, a Class VII student noted in his diary every successful stage completed in the self-harming challenge before trying to jump from the third floor of Indore’s Chameli Devi Public School. Classmates saved him.

Teenagers in Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Assam either killed themselves or were saved before they jumped off buildings on instruction from the game’s promoters.

The game’s growing popularity had prompted the government to direct internet giants Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to immediately remove its links.

Cyber experts and psychologists advise parents to strictly monitor teenagers playing such dangerous online games.

First Published: Sep 05, 2017 00:07 IST