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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

Blue Whale challenge: Pune youth hangs self as part of online game ‘task’

Police inspector D S Hake of Lonikand police station said that the family came to know about the incident after he did not respond to their calls.

pune Updated: Jul 20, 2019 15:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
The ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ is an online game in which players are asked to complete tasks in a set time frame, several of which include self-harm and even suicide.
The ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ is an online game in which players are asked to complete tasks in a set time frame, several of which include self-harm and even suicide.(PICTURE FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY)
         

A 20-year-old second year BCom student allegedly hanged himself in Lonikhand while trying to complete a task in a Blue Whale-like online game, police said Friday.

The police identified the youngster as Diwakar Mali.

“Before hanging himself on Wednesday evening, he left a note which said ‘the black panther which was in the cage is free now and he is no longer in any kind of restrictions. The End’,” the official informed.

The official said the message was possibly alluding to his task in the online game, with Mali referring to himself as “black panther”.

The handwritten note, in Marathi and English, has a drawing of a black panther along with a line which read “sun will shine again”, the official added.

Police inspector D S Hake of Lonikand police station said that the family came to know about the incident after he did not respond to their calls. “He studied at BJS College and spent hours on the smartphone, a fact confirmed by his family members. We have recovered the mobile, but it is locked as the deceased used his thumb impression to gain access. Our investigations reveal that the boy died while playing the Blue Whale game ,” Hake said.

Mali’s mother, confirming his mobile phone addiction, said, “I appeal to all parents to put restrictions on their children’s phone usage. I lost my son, but parents should pay attention to their children,” she said.

The ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ is an online game in which players are asked to complete tasks in a set time frame, several of which include self-harm and even suicide.

The World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases has termed ‘gaming disorder’ as a pattern of gaming behaviour (digital-gaming or video-gaming) characterised by impaired control and increasing priority given to gaming over other activities.

With inputs from PTI

First Published: Jul 20, 2019 14:22 IST