'Blue Whale Challange' Led to Indian Student's Death in the US, Suggest Investigations

He was enrolled at the University of Massachusetts and was discovered deceased on March 8.

In a tragic incident marking a distressing first for Indian students in US higher education, a first-year student reportedly took his own life in March, purportedly while engaging in an eerie online game known as the "Blue Whale Challenge" or "suicide game".

The 20-year-old student, respecting the family's privacy, remains unnamed. He was enrolled at the University of Massachusetts and was discovered deceased on March 8.

Crime Scene

Gregg Miliote, spokesperson for the Bristol County District Attorney, indicated that the case is being treated as an "apparent suicide".

Initial reports misidentified the student as a Boston University enrollee, suggesting a homicide with alleged robbery. Subsequent clarification by The Boston Globe revealed the student's identity.

The "Blue Whale Challenge" operates as an online game featuring escalating dares over 50 levels, with tasks reportedly becoming increasingly perilous.

According to official sources, the student was involved in holding his breath for a duration of two minutes.

While the Indian government had previously expressed intentions to ban the game, it settled for issuing detailed advisories regarding its risks, labeling it as "abetment to suicide".

Inquiries regarding the student's involvement in the game were met with responses focusing on the ongoing investigation by Miliote. He emphasized awaiting the medical examiner's conclusions before closing the case, noting the lack of updates since March 22.

Reports indicate the game unfolds on social media platforms, with an administrator assigning daily tasks over a 50-day span. Tasks start innocuously but reportedly escalate to include self-harm in later stages.

This article was first published on April 20, 2024