When 'Blue Whale' triggered a bomb threat and mass panic
An incident in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, has proven how the Blue Whale 'challenge' can harm not just its 'players', but also other unrelated innocents. A youth has surrendered to police and confessed that he had made a hoax bomb threat to the Mandi ISBT, which had triggered mass panic. He did it because of Blue Whale, he said. Here's what happened.
If you still don't know what Blue Whale challenge is
In the 'Blue Whale' challenge, the administrator sets out tasks for participants to complete. The tasks range from self-mutilation to waking up at ungodly hours; and when the 50th day approaches, participants are brainwashed into committing suicide in order to complete the challenge.
What happened in Mandi?
On the morning of December 21, the Mandi ISBT received a bomb threat. As panic spread, officials vacated it in minutes. Police, fire brigade and the health department, as well as top administration officials, were on their toes, but nothing suspicious was found. Police have now said the accused is 21-year-old MCA student Sandeep Singh, a resident of Balh in Mandi.
How was it related to Blue Whale?
Singh apparently is a Blue Whale addict who made the hoax call to complete the challenge, a cop told HT. He was an alcoholic and had already attempted suicide as part of the 'game'. His family reports he had turned more aggressive after he started playing Blue Whale. According to The Tribune, over 130 deaths have been linked to Blue Whale till now.
When a 16-year-old brutally murdered his family over a 'game'
Blue Whale isn't the only danger lurking online. Earlier this month, a 16-year-old boy in Greater Noida, reportedly influenced by a violent game called High School Gangster Escape, brutally beat his mother and sister to death and disfigured their faces with scissors.
The government takes a stand against similar online 'games'
Blue Whale's reach in India is alarming: in August, seven Indian cities made the top-10 in online searches for the 'game'. The SC has refused to ban Blue Whale, instead urging states and the Center to spread awareness about such dangerous 'games'. The government had earlier asked internet giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, WhatsApp, Yahoo and Instagram to remove all links to Blue Whale.Share this timeline