15 year old boy suffocated himself, friends allege he was playing the "Blue Whale" game.
A 15-year-old teenager from West Midnapore district could be the first victim of the infamous Blue Whale game in Bengal. Mystery surrounds the alleged suicide of Ankan Dey, a class 10 student in Anandapur town whose body was recovered from the bathroom of his house on Saturday.
According to family members, the teenager went to take a bath on Saturday morning but did not open the door for more than an hour. His family grew suspicious and broke open the door only to find his motionless body lying on the floor. His face was wrapped in a plastic sheet and a towel tied around his neck.
Known to be a "decent" young boy, his shocked family members are yet to fathom what drove him to the this extreme step.
"It's very immature behaviour. I think he tried imitating something though we did not see anything unnatural in his behaviour," Ankan's grandfather Malay Dey said.
Police is suspecting that the teen could have been influenced by the deadly "peer group" game that has taken the cyber world by a storm. According to those who knew the teen, Ankan was an addict to online games.
One of Ankan's neighbourhood friends have confirmed that the teen used to play the Blue Whale challenge.
"He had told us that he would teach us the game too...the game required us do some things...but we never played it," said Shivam Rana, his friend.
Police have seized the computer from his father's shop and his mobile phone for forensic tests to verify such claims. Neighbours say, Ankan who was a student of Anandapur High School was decent boy and that they noticed nothing unusual in him.
The "Blue Whale" challenge is a peer group game that's played via Russian social networking site called "V Kontakte" - which is similar to Facebook. People have to open a profile on the site and then search for "curators" who will invite or lead them into the challenge.
Often, people leave messages on their page seeking help to play the game stating how depressed they are and they want to "liberate" themselves. Such messages are generally accompanied by hash tags like #BlueWhale, #IAmAWhale etc. After carefully going through such messages, they chose players and touch base with them. First they interact with them to understand their mental state, then a few tasks are given to check how eager the person is. The person is then required to post snaps of completed tasks. Only after this initial checking are people allowed to enter the peer group to play the suicidal game.
This is the third reported incident regarding the Blue Whale Challenge in India in the past few weeks. A Class 7 kid from Indore tried to commit suicide but was stopped, the incident is being linked to Blue Whale. A Mumbai teen also jumped to death in the July 2017 due to the Blue Whale Challenge.