India facing deaths of children – Reason is Blue whale game

AHMEDABAD/NEW DELHI: A young man in Gujarat killed himself and a teenager in Delhi was put under observation after he cut himself, the latest in incidents linked to the Blue Whale Challenge that has led to several suicides across the country.

The victim in Gujarat was identified as Ashok Maluna, who jumped off a bridge into the Sabarmati river on Friday shortly after posting a video on Facebook in which he said the step was him completing the challenge.

The boy, 17, had cut himself on the arm with his geometry kit and had been watching horror movies, activities linked to the online ‘game’.

The Blue Whale Challenge requires participants to complete a number of tasks within a 50-day period.

In Delhi, the 17-year-old suspected of playing it has been kept under observation at a city hospital. “The parents had noticed a change in the behaviour of the boy for the last 10 or 15 days. He had become more reclusive,” said Dr Bhagat Rajput, consulting neuro-psychologist at a Dwarka hospital. “His parents found out that he had scratched his face and had also cut himself with his geometry kit. That is when he was brought in for counselling. In the sessions too, we could make out that he had low self-confidence and was definitely addicted to the internet.”

Police in Gujarat said the suicide victim, Maluna, shot a video in which he said, “this is final stage of my Blue Whale Challenge and now I am going to commit suicide”.

In the video, Maluna, in his early twenties, said he stole ₹48,000 from home and he, along with a friend, had gone to Mumbai to commit suicide. Due to heavy rain, he said, they couldn’t complete their task.

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