Blue Whale challenge is no more just an urban menace. The deadly game has quietly reached one of the most impoverished regions of the country. A report by Hindustan Times today said that as many as 30 tribal children have been found playing the Blue Whale challenge in Maoist-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. Abhishek Pallav, assistant superintendent of police in Dantewada, told HT that the tribal children were “rescued” from government high school, Dantewada. The children had used sharp objects like blades to carve whale-like shapes into their arms.
The Russian-origin game has so far claimed hundreds of lives across the world. What surprised the police in Dantewada were the reasons stated by the tribal kids for playing the game. The children believed that Blue Whale challenge will help in solving their personal problems. Police told HT that one of the children started playing the game so that his father would quit alcohol, while another kid took up the challenge as he wanted to stop his father from forcibly marrying him off. Some children even told police that their personal problems were getting solved after they inflicted pain on themselves as part of the challenge.
Police believe the children may have learnt about the deadly game through internet or newspapers.
The shocking report from Dantewada comes in the wake of a number of deaths and mishaps due to the Blue Whale challenge across India.
On Thursday, a college student in Burdwan district was rescued from suspected Blue Whale Challenge game after he broke down in class before a teacher and fellow students. The student said he had received an SMS on August 6 informing him that he won a lottery and to get hold of the money he would have to send all the details about him and his family, PTI reported.
After he sent the details, the student said he received a link of the game with an instruction that the money would be sent to his bank account after he completed all stages of the game. As part of the game, the student said, he was asked to slash his hand and send a selfie, run before a car, etc and he had completed 12 stages, the report said.
On September 3, PTI reported that a 17-year-old student committed suicide by standing before a running train in Madhya Pradesh. “We have got information that the Class XII student was part of the Blue Whale Challenge. We are checking his cell phone and investigating the matter,” additional superintendent of police (ASP) Arvind Dubey had then told PTI.
Similarly, on September 1, the deadly Blue Whale claimed another life, this time the victim was a Pondicherry University student who committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree.
In Assam, ANI reported on August 31 that a 17-year-old Class X student tried to commit suicide. He had Blue Whale mark on his hand.