The Andhra Pradesh police are looking into a possible death due to the 'Blue Whale' game, after an engineering student killed himself by handing to death at his house in West Godavari district on Tuesday.
The Deccan Chronicle reported that 20-year-old Badugu Vamsi had stopped attending classes since July 22, but continued to go out everyday. On Tuesday, he sent a text message to his father, that read, "I was cut with a knife. They threatened to kill all the family members if I inform about it."
Speaking to DC, Pedavegi SI Kanthi Priya said, "We are suspecting that the student might be a victim of Blue Whale game challenge as he committed suicide by leaving a message that he was killed and some people were trying to attack the family members. We are pursuing the case further. We have noticed scars of razor blade cuts on his wrist giving indication that he tried to kill himself earlier too."
A case of suspicious death has been booked.
Known for driving hundreds of teens to suicide in other countries, the Blue Whale challenge has also reportedly claimed lives in India.
The challenge originated in Russia and targets children between 10 and 14 years of age, according to investigators.
The challenge spread through social media, and came to light in 2016 when Galina Mursaliyeva, a journalist with Russian publication Novaya Gazeta investigated her daughter’s online activity after she committed suicide.
There are 50 tasks that someone who signs up has to undergo, which include posting photos of self-harm (often, a blue whale drawn on a body part with a blade).
If, at some point, the child gets cold feet or tries to back out of the challenge, the curators reportedly threaten them, often saying that their parents will be harmed.