Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday urged the Centre to take immediate steps to ban the online Blue Whale game in the country “to save precious lives”. “In view of the threat which is already at our doorstep, I would request that immediate action may be initiated to ban this game all over India so that we can save precious lives,” Vijayan said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a copy of which was released to the media in Thiruvananthapuram.
“There is an Internet trend growing in popularity that encourages its participants to hurt themselves in real life -called Blue Whale.
“This is not a video game, but the participants are required to receive instructions from an anonymous administrator and their final task is to commit suicide,” Vijayan said in the letter. Media reports reveal that the game has taken a few lives in India and its popularity was growing, he said.
“The Blue Whale game is a challenge to the whole society and comprehensive action against this from all responsible agencies is of utmost importance,” he said. The cyber wing of the police department in Kerala is striving to make people aware about the game through social media and other effective channels, he said. He said the state government by itself can do very little in the matter.
The only solution to arrest the menace was to ban the game and this can be done only with the help of the various Union ministries, including electronics and information technology, and home ministry, he said.
The issue had been raised in the state Assembly also and the chief minister had assured the members that the state police had already issued necessary alerts to make parents vigilant about the game and ensure that children do not get addicted.
According to media reports, over 4,000 children are said to have committed suicide worldwide due to this game. There were reports that a 14-year-old boy recently ended his life in Mumbai due to the influence of Blue Whale game, the chief minister had said in the assembly.
The Blue Whale game also called “Blue Whale Challenge” is an Internet ‘game’ allegedly consisting of a series of tasks assigned to players by administrators during a 50-day period, with the final challenge reportedly requiring the player to commit suicide.