Blue Whale Challenge: Mumbai boy had told friends he won’t be coming to school from MondayUpdated: Aug 01, 2017 11:07 IST
A friend of the 14-year-old Mumbai boy, whose suicide is being linked to the Blue Whale challenge, remembered the victim as well-mannered. They used to play cricket together for the past 4-5 years in the area. Speaking to HT, the friend claimed that the 14-year-old had told them that he would not be coming to school from Monday. The boy committed suicide by jumping from the fifth floor of an Andheri (East) building on Saturday.
“He was very friendly, and we never thought he would take such a drastic step,” the friend added. The friend said the victim had told one of them that he was participating in some online game, but they didn’t pay heed as none of them had heard of the Blue Whale challenge until he committed suicide.
The boy’s family, meanwhile, has returned from Nashik after performing his last rites. The police will soon be speaking to them, and would also be checking his personal details like social media accounts and whatsapp messages.
The death has sparked the fear that the dangerous self-harm online challenge could have made its way to India through social media networking.
An eyewitness, who lives in the opposite building, told the police that he had seen the boy walk on the terrace wall and had tried called out to him and stop him from jumping. The person saw the boy try to make at least two attempts to jump, and did not respond to his repeated calls. By the time the witness rushed out of his home to get help, the boy had jumped off the building.
The game, which is believed to have been the brainchild of an arrested Russian national who admitted to have psychologically manipulated teen girls to kill themselves, has since then claimed more than 100 lives in Russia and UK.
While a team of Meghwadi police is investigating all possible angles to ascertain the reason behind the suicide, as of now, the police said they have not found any link to the online Blue Whale challenge.
What is the Blue Whale Challenge?
The Blue Whale Challenge calls on participants, via social media, to complete a dangerous self-harm challenge every day for 50 days before they are encouraged to “win” the game by killing themselves. The tasks range from cutting a body part, listening to music and watching scary movies. The last task is committing suicide. Over 100 children are believed to have died in Russia and UK, as per reports.
First Published: Aug 01, 2017 09:50 IST