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Family blames Blue Whale Challenge after Jharkhand teen’s mysterious death

Philipp Budeikin, the self-proclaimed founder of the game in 2013 from Russia has already been arrested. Since the first suicide reported back in 2015, now more than 100 such deaths have been reported from across the world, particularly among teenagers.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2017 13:07 IST
Saurav Roy
Saurav Roy
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Blue Whale challenge,Jharkhand,Blue Whale challenge suicide
As part of the Blue Whale Challenge, a participant is assigned daily tasks for 50 days. It includes inflicting self-injury, watching horror movies, waking up at odd hours to wrap the task and even carving a whale shape on the arms. (Representative image)

The family of a 15-year-old boy from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, whose body was fished out of a city lake on Monday, have said he may have fallen prey to the online Blue Whale Challenge that goads players into harming themselves and finally committing suicide.

Fardeen Khan, a Class 10 students of DBMS English School, was last seen talking over the phone and walking towards the Beldih Lake in a CCTV footage at 2.30am on Monday. Locals found his body in the lake later in the morning.

According to Fardeen’s mother Yasmin, he was overly engrossed on his mobile phone lately. He was playing a video game on his smartphone till 1.30am on Monday and Yasmin had to ask him to go to sleep.

“He was upset about something lately and always remained busy with his phone mostly playing games,” said Yasmin.

Khan’s grandmother woke up to attend nature’s call and found Fardeen missing from his bed. The family searched for him all night but could not find him. They lodged a missing report with the Bishtupur Police station early on Monday.

Police have found injury marks on the teenager’s body and are suspecting murder. However, a senior official refused to hold the infamous video game responsible for Khan’s death until they find concrete evidence.

“As of now, there is nothing that proves the role of any video game in the death. Our investigation is on,” said Jamshedpur superintendent of police Prashant Anand.

Blue Whale challenge, which targets teenagers and young children, calls on participants through social media to complete a dangerous self-harm challenge over a period of 50 days and allegedly encourages them to win the game by committing suicide. The tasks range from self-harming, watching scary movies to waking up at unusual hours.

First Published: Aug 22, 2017 13:04 IST