Blue Whale Challenge: Two girls run away from Agra, rescued in Madhya Pradesh
Two 14-year-old girls, who ran away from Agra in Uttar Pradesh while playing the Blue Whale Challenge game were found on the railway station in Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad districtUpdated: Sep 14, 2017 10:09 IST
Two 14-year-old girls, who ran away from Agra in Uttar Pradesh while playing the Blue Whale Challenge game responsible for scores of deaths around the world, including India, were found on the railway station in Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad district, officials have said.
The Class 9 students were spotted on Tuesday by the personnel of Government Railway Police (GRP), who called the child helpline number and handed them to the Child Welfare Committee.
The CWC’s members counselled them and during their questioning, the girls told them they were playing the stage two of the deadly game and were tasked to run away from the home. The deadly game, created by a former Russian convict, provokes players to indulge in daring, self-destructive tasks for 50 days before taking the final “winning” step of death by suicide.
Anil Jha, a senior member of the committee who questioned the girls, told the Hindustan Times over the that when they were informed about the incident, they first spoke to their parents and told them to reach Hoshangabad as soon as possible.
“They had left Agra on the Punjab Mail at 8am on Tuesday with their bags, mobile phones, and laptop. They kept their phones switched off. But when school time was over around 4.30pm, they switched on their phones. One of the girls saw a lot of miss calls and messages. Worried about what her parents might be going through, she called her brother and told him the whole story,” he said.
Jha said her brother told them to get down at the next station and that they will take them home.
“On Tuesday evening, they got down at Hoshangabad railway station and started waiting. Spotting two young girls waiting for a long time, GRP personnel found something suspicious about their body language. They apprehended them and informed the child help line,” he said.
Jha said they were produced before the CWC on Wednesday.
“We counselled them for a long time during which they opened up and revealed that they had run away from home as tasked under stage two of the Blue Whale game. Finally, their parents arrived and we handed over them to their parents after due paperwork,” he said.
Jha said it is perhaps the first case that children playing the Blue Whale game have contacted their family members.
A 16-year-old Jaipur boy, who left home as part of the last stage of the Blue Whale game, was rescued by the city police from Mumbai in August. He was tracked by the location of his mobile phone.
Three Blue Whale related incidents have been reported in the central state within the last one month. A Class 11 from Damoh district committed suicide by jumping in front of a train and two others were rescued by the police before attempting to commit suicide to complete the last challenge.
Teenagers in Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and Assam have also either killed themselves or were saved before they jumped off buildings on instruction from the game’s promoters.
The game’s growing popularity 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 14, 2017 10:08 IST