Two college girls in Pakistan’s Punjab province have been expelled after they inflicted cuts on their arms with knives as part of the controversial ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ game. The administration of the Government Girls Degree College in Pind Dadan Khan Jhelum, 300 kms from Lahore, yesterday expelled two intermediate girl students after detecting self- inflicted injuries on their arms. “Some college students filed a complaint with the administration informing that two girls had made whale carvings on their arms using knives and it is suspected that they may commit suicide after reaching the final level of the Blue Whale game,” college principal Raheela Chandni said.
She said the administration summoned the girls in question along with their parents. “We expelled the girls after they admitted that they inflicted injuries on their arms while playing the dangerous game. We also asked their parents to keep a check on their daughters,” she said, adding, the decision to expel the girls was taken to prevent other students of the college from being influenced by the phenomenon. It is learnt that one of the two girls had reached level 18 of the game and the other was on level 22.
The ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ made headlines after a report claimed that at least 130 teenagers in Russia were instigated to take their own lives on closed social media groups. The game, which is believed to be inspired from blue whales who are known to beach themselves on purpose, preys on vulnerable teenagers with low self-esteem. The victims are manipulated by group administrators or game curators into a series of tasks over the course of 50 days.
In the beginning, the participants are given seemingly harmless tasks like watching horror movies, not speaking to anyone for a day or going out at 3 am. This escalates into tasks such as self-harm and going without sleep. Ultimately on day 50, the game supervisor demands that players kill themselves. The players are also required to send videos and photos as proof that they have completed their tasks.