20 students (4 girls and 16 boys) were found with cut marks in the shape of a whale on their hands, allegedly signs that they were playing the blue whale game. The class 8 and 9 students are from Kendriya Vidyalaya School No-2 Belagavi, Karnataka. The school has nearly 3000 students enrolled. Following this incident, the school has started awareness programs to educate and counsel students.
According to TOI, the students have admitted that they were playing the online game blue whale. The Daily reported that the principal said, “the children were not playing the game and had only cut themselves to brag in front of their classmates. The students are also undergoing professional counseling.
The school authorities found cut marks on several students hands about four days ago. When the students were questioned by the school authorities, the students said they had fallen off their bicycle, among various absurd explanations. Only recently did they tell the school authorities that they inflicted self-harm to boast to their friends that they were playing the online blue whale challenge.
With respect to the actual game, inscribing the whale on one’s hand is generally task 11 on day 11 or task 49 on day 49. All in all, 50 tasks in 50 days with the final task requiring the player to commit suicide. The game is played with a handler or administrator dictating tasks to the victims. Proof that the task has been completed has to be submitted in the form of pictures.
More than 10 deaths and several rescues have been linked to the blue whale game in India in the last two months alone. The popularity of the game has led the Central Government to issue notices to Facebook, Whatsapp, Google, Yahoo, etc. to remove any links associated with the game. The blue whale game originated in Russia in 2016 and the founder is currently behind bars. The origin of the game and the game itself is nothing short of sick.