Ankan Dey was a student of Class 10 at a local school in West Midnapore district’s Anandpur town. On Saturday, when he did not come out after a bath, his family broke open the bathroom door and found him stretched on the floor. His head was covered with a plastic bag tied tightly around his neck with a cotton cord, a member of the family said. A friend of Ankan later told them that the boy was playing the Blue Whale challenge.
Last month, a student of Class 9 in Mumbai’s Andheri committed suicide, apparently because of the Blue Whale challenge. He posted what he called his “last picture” on Instagram before jumping off a building in the Andheri suburb.
On Friday, a student of class 5 in Dehradun was stopped from taking the extreme step by his school authorities. Another 13-year-old boy was rescued by his friends when he had tried to jump off a school building in Indore.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking the Centre to ban the game. “The Blue Whale game is a challenge to the whole society and comprehensive action against this from all responsible agencies is of utmost importance,” he said in the letter.
The Blue Whale game is 50-day challenge which demands that players complete tasks given by an anonymous “handler”. The “handler” instructs the players to cause self-harm, leading up to suicide.
Philipp Budeikin, a 22-year-old Russian who created the challenge, is currently in jail. In an interview this year, he said he made the game to “clean society,” as people who participated in it were “biological waste”.