Another child is suspected to have fallen victim to the Blue Whale Challenge. A 15-year-old boy from Jalgaon allegedly committed suicide four days ago as completion of his ‘last task’ of the game.
The police said Kalpesh Patil, a resident of Sawantkheda of the Jamner taluka in Jalgaon, was found hanging from the ceiling in his house on August 9. “We were not alerted about it. The family kept mum and quickly performed his last rites,” said Nazir Shaikh, senior inspector of Jamner police. “But word of the death got out and spread through the village.”
The next day, Patil’s cousin looked through his belongings — schoolbag and gadgets — to find leads on what had prompted the alleged suicide, and apparently found texts referring to the Blue Whale Challenge on his mobile phone. “We are investigating this. The family has been missing since the funeral,” said Shaikh.
Patil studied in Std IX and his parents worked as farmhands.
His death comes in the wake of two alleged Blue Whale casualties — Mumbai’s Manpreet Sahans, 14 (July 29), and a 13-year-old boy in Indore (August 10) — committed as a dare in the challenge. A businessman’s 14-year-old son was rescued from a bus on August 10 while allegedly on his way to Pune from Solapur to kill himself.
The online ‘game’, which originated in Russia, has reportedly claimed 130 lives in Europe. It involves 50 dares or ‘tasks’, each tougher than the previous, and culminate in the player’s suicide.
In the aftermath of Sahan’s death, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that he would coordinate with the Centre in taking action against the challenge. But that’s not an easy task. The Blue Whale Challenge is not a game that can be downloaded easily through Google Play or App store. Entry is by invitation only, wherein players are enlisted through social networking groups. Once they accept and join the group, it is believed that there is no going back.
130 No. of deaths linked to the game in Europe
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