Mumbai: A 14-year-old boy, Manpreet Sahan, committed suicide by jumping off the terrace of his fifth-floor apartment in the Sher-e-Punjab area of Andheri (East) on Saturday evening. Though the Meghwadi police have registered an accidental death case, they are probing if the deadly Blue Whale internet game is responsible for what looks like a suicide.
The Blue Whale game has killed hundreds of kids worldwide. “The teenager’s friends were chatting on social media groups about his death being linked to the Blue Whale online challenge. But we are yet to examine his mobile phone and social media groups where he was active,” a senior police official said.
Sahan’s neighbour noticed him jumping from the terrace and informed police. He is a student of Class 9 and was staying in Andheri with his parents. His father is an aviation engineer. “We are yet to interrogate his parents as they have gone to Nashik for the cremation. We are probing the case from all angles, including the death linked to Blue Whale,” Milind Khetle, Divisional Assistant Commissioner of Police told FPJ. He added, “We are quizzing his school friends and some members on the social media groups on which the teenager was active.
Psychiatrists this correspondent spoke to said children addicted to the internet cannot often differentiate between the real and virtual worlds. “Kids are emotionally vulnerable and get involved in such traps. They use the social media as a platform to express their feelings which are not taken seriously by their parents. In real life they are unable to express themselves properly,” said Dr Sagar Mundada, psychiatrist at the King Edward Memorial Hospital. He added parents should regularly follow and take note of their children’s posts on Facebook and other such social media platforms.
Blue Whale game or Blue Whale Challenge is believed to be a suicide game wherein a group of administrators gives a participant a task to complete daily — for a period of 50 days — the final of which is the participant committing suicide.
During the game, Participants are expected to share photos of the tasks completed by them.
These daily tasks start off easy — such as listening to certain genres of music, waking up at odd hours, watching a horror movie, among others, and then slowly escalate to carving out shapes on one’s skin, self-mutilation and eventually suicide.