New Delhi -°C
Today in New Delhi, India

Sep 20, 2019-Friday



Select city

Metro cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata

Other cities - Noida, Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Bhopal , Chandigarh , Dehradun, Indore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi

Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Blue Whale challenge: You can enter but not leave, says teen before suicide

A 19-year-old college student Vignesh in Madurai is suspected to be the first victim in Tamil Nadu of the Blue Whale Challenge game.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2017 23:36 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
A picture of blue whale was drawn on his hand leading to the suspicion that Vignesh was prodded to death by the online game.
A picture of blue whale was drawn on his hand leading to the suspicion that Vignesh was prodded to death by the online game.(Representative Photo)

A 19-year-old college student found hanging from a ceiling fan in his Madurai home on Wednesday scrawled these lines about the addictive and dangerous Blue Whale Challenge online game responsible for scores of teenage deaths around the world, including India.

J Vighnesh said in his note: “You can enter it, but cannot exit the game.”

He could be Tamil Nadu’s first casualty of the game that provokes players to do self-destructive tasks for 50 days before taking the final step of death by suicide.

Police in the southern state said on Thursday they are investigating the contact numbers on the teenager’s mobile phone and members of a WhatsApp group he was a part of.

According to Madurai police superintendent Manivannan, a tattoo of a whale made using a sharp object was found on his left hand.

“The players etch the picture of a whale on their arm … this is a sure-shot indication of impending danger to the life of teenagers,” he said.

The second-year BCom student of Mannar Thirumalai Naicker College used his mother’s sari to hang himself.

His distraught mother told a private television channel she saw strange marks on his body and asked him about it. “He told me, ‘It is nothing Amma, nothing will happen to me’,” she said.

She discovered about three days ago that her son was hooked on the deadly internet game and said around 75 children were in group playing the game.

“I request the government to save these children. No mother should face the misfortune of losing a child and go through the trauma.”

Madurai collector Veera Raghava Rao promised to form a special team for spreading awareness in schools and colleges and counsel students and parents “to check the menace”.

The Tamil Nadu tragedy is the latest in a string of cases reported from across India of deaths or suicide attempts linked to the game developed in Russia.

A Class 10 student with a whale mark on his hand was admitted to a government hospital in Assam capital Guwahati this week after he showed abnormal behaviour.

In West Bengal, two teenage girls suspected to be playing the macabre game were interrogated and counselled on Thursday. School authorities said the girls “were in a trance” and one of them cut her hand.

Before them, teenagers in Kerala, Mumbai, Pune, Indore and Dehradun 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 lethal online games.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 11:35 IST