The Blue Whale Challenge, a lethal online game that has claimed hundreds of lives across the world strikes again in India as a 17-year-old girl was rescued in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur late on Monday after she allegedly tried to jump into a lake as part of the challenge.
Local police said the incident happened around 11pm when the teen, daughter of a Border Security Force (BSF) soldier, was seen jumping into the Kaylana Lake. The identities of the girl and her parents weren’t revealed by authorities.
“The parents of the girl had come to us to report that she was missing. We initiated a search for the teenager and it was at this time that we learnt that a girl had tried to jump into the Kailana lake,” said Mukta Pareek, station house officer of Mandore police station.
The police said the girl was rescued by police and a group of divers who were near the area at the time of the incident. “The girl told the police she downloaded the Blue Whale game in her mobile a few days ago,” said Pareek.
Police said that the girl was going to complete the final task of the challenge.
“She told us that if she didn’t complete the challenge then some untoward incidents could happen to her mother and rest of the family. The girl told us that she was at the final stage of the task,” said Lekhraj Sihag, station house officer, Rajeev Gandhi Nagar police station. This was the latest in scores of cases reported from across India of deaths or suicide attempts linked to the online game, first developed in Russia. Last month, a 19-year-old student was found hanging from the ceiling fan in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai as part of the game, where players are asked to perform 50 increasingly difficult tasks of self-harm culminating in a suicide bid. Each task must be filmed and shared as “proof”. The tasks range from self-harming, watching scary movies to waking up at unusual hours.
The government has issued an advisory and police teams across states are working with schools to counsel teenagers and wean them away from the online game.
Players also carve a whale-like figure on their arms. In the Jodhpur case, for example, police said the girl cut a whale-like figure on her arm with a knife.
“I saw the girl park her two-wheeler and go towards the lake before jumping. I too dove after her and brought her out. Following that she managed to escape and jumped again after going a little ahead,” said Omprakash, a local diver who saved her.
He added that once again he rescued her before informing the police.
“She told me not to inform her family. She was circling the area for a while before jumping. Finally, the police came and handed her over to her family,” he added.
This is the second instance of teenagers falling prey to the Blue Whale challenge in Rajasthan. A 16-year-old boy from Jaipur went gone to Mumbai on August 21 to finish a task but was rescued by a team of the Jaipur police before he could attempt suicide.
Source: The Hindustan times
Article by Azmaira Sodagar