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US: ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ behind death of Indian student in March

Blue whale challenge, death of Indian students
Image source: PIXABAY The Blue Whale Challenge is an online “suicide game” that gives users 50 increasingly difficult tasks.

Boston: For the first time amid several deaths among Indian students studying in American colleges and universities, a 20-year-old student allegedly committed suicide in Boston in March while playing the dangerous game known as the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’. according to the police, also known as the ‘suicide game’. The student’s identity has been kept confidential per the wishes of his family.

The student was a freshman at the University of Massachusetts who was found dead in an abandoned car on March 8. His death was widely reported as a homicide last month when he was misidentified as a student at Boston University. Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, said the case is being investigated as an “apparent suicide.”

“We have no information about this. The case is being investigated as an apparent suicide. We await the medical examiner’s final conclusions before closing the case. This happened on March 22. There has been no response to requests for an update. did not respond to a text message and a phone call on Friday,” Miliote said.

According to official sources, the student held his breath for two minutes. Media reports of the student’s ‘murder’ came after attacks on Indians in the US, especially students, have increased dramatically in recent years.

What is the Blue Whale Challenge?

It was reported that the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ was an online ‘suicide game’ with 50 tasks over 50 days, involving dangerous dares, which becomes increasingly difficult after 50 years and ultimately asks the user to commit suicide as part of the action . final challenge. The first tasks are simple, such as “Wake up in the middle of the night” or “Watch a movie.”

However, the tasks become more sinister with each passing level, such as “Stand on the edge of a tower block” or “Carve a whale in your arm” and the final challenge involves the user committing suicide. The challenge reportedly originated in Russia but quickly spread to other countries such as Ukraine, India and the United States, leading to hundreds of deaths, according to the BBC.

There is also a lot of speculation about why this game is related to blue whales. Some journalists claim this is because whales are known to beach themselves, a phenomenon that usually leads to their death. Others say it’s a reference to the lyrics of a Russian rock band called Lumen.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has issued an advisory calling the game an “encouragement to suicide”. “The creators seek out their players/victims who are in depression and send them an invitation to join… Challenge players cannot stop playing once they start; they are blackmailed and cyberbullied into the ‘game’ to complete,” is the advice.

The Supreme Court on Friday termed the Blue Whale challenge a “national problem” and directed television channels to help create awareness about the deadly game. The Center had constituted an expert committee to look into the issue.

Indian deaths in US

It is worth mentioning that the latest reports of killings involved a series of deaths and attacks on Indian students in the United States. In 2024 alone, at least eleven students were killed and several others suffered serious attacks. Although the Indian government has stated on several occasions that it has raised its concerns with its colleagues, the killing spree has not stopped.

Earlier in January, 19-year-old Neel Acharya, who had been reported missing, was found dead on the campus of Purdue University West Lafayette. Acharya was an American citizen. Authorities have said that no trauma or significant injuries were found during the autopsy on Acharya and that “no foul play is suspected at this time.” In January this year, 25-year-old Indian student Vivek Saini was beaten to death by a homeless drug addict in Georgia. Similarly, another Indian student, Syed Mazahir Ali, who hails from Hyderabad and was pursuing a master’s degree in information technology, was chased and brutally attacked by three unidentified men in Chicago.

(with input from agencies)

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