16-year-old Manoj, a student of Class 11 from Perumkulam in Thiruvananthapuram on July 26. He was found hanging in his bedroom on July 26. A police team visited the home of a Kerala teen this morning after his family alleged that he killed himself because of the online Blue Whale game which challenges its players to commit suicide.
His mother told a Malayalam TV channel that her son mentioned playing the game in November, after which he began hurting himself injuries included cutting himself with a piece of broken glass and carving the initials “ABI” into his arm, using a compass. It’s not clear what the initials stood for.
“There is no confirmatory evidence that the boy played this game at all or the death is related to the Blue Whale App. But the boy’s mother has made these allegations and we are looking into it,” senior police officer Manoj Abraham told.
The tasks ranged from telling the participating teen to self-harm, send photos of the same to the curator, climb a crane or ledge, not speak to anyone all day, to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to watch scary videos and listen to music the curator sends, speak to other ‘whales’ (participants) and finally, commit suicide by jumping off a high building.
Earlier this month, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to the centre demanding a ban on Blue Whale, which originated in Russia and presents players with a list of formidable tasks to be completed in 50 days; the final assignment is suicide.
While the challenge has driven many teens to suicide abroad, the phenomenon is new to India but has reportedly already claimed at least two lives.