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Despite warnings, the fatal online game the Blue Whale Challenge continues to pass through India as more students fall victim to the deadly game. A class 10 student from West Bengal has become the latest victim as he committed suicide on Saturday.
In the Anandpur town of West Midnapore district in Bengal, Ankan Dey choked himself to death at home by covering his head with a plastic bag tied around his neck with a nylon cord.
“He returned from school on Saturday and sat in front of the computer. When his mother (Sampa) called him for lunch, he said he will first have bath. When he did not emerge from the bathroom for quite some time, we broke open the door and found him lying on the floor motionless (around 4pm). We rushed him to the hospital where he was declared dead,” said Gopinath Dey, Ankan’s father.
Ankan’s friends revealed to the police that he had been playing the Blue Whale Challenge, said Anandpur police superintendent Bharati Ghosh.
The suicide of Ankan will mark the first case of Blue Whale Challenge in West Bengal.
The first case of a victim of the Blue Whale Challenge was in Mumbai where a 14-year-old boy committed suicide allegedly as a part of the game which has taken more than 130 lives worldwide.
Originating from Russia in 2013, the Blue Whale Challenge is an online game which involves an 'administrator' who assigns a series of 50 dares or 'tasks' to the players over a series of 50 days. As the players complete the steps, they are required to submit photographic proof that they have cleared the concerned levels. The tasks begin innocently enough, from waking up early to watching horror movies but become more sinister as they progress to self-harm and carving a shape of a blue whale on the skin. The final task, in order to win the 'game', is to commit suicide.
According to psychologist Rekha Arya, "The game starts as a challenge for teenagers, but soon becomes an addiction as they derive a thrill by winning the initial easy levels."