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Business News/ News / Was 'Blue Whale Challenge' reason behind Indian student's death in US? What is it, all you need to know

Was 'Blue Whale Challenge' reason behind Indian student's death in US? What is it, all you need to know

Indian student's death in the US possibly linked to the 'Blue Whale Challenge', a deadly game encouraging suicide.

The US sees rise in the death of Indian or Indian-origin students in 2024Premium
The US sees rise in the death of Indian or Indian-origin students in 2024

Many reports of Indian students death has been reported in the US, with a recent report shedding light on one student's demise, potentially linked to the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’. As per media reports, the 20-year-old who was first-year student at the University of Massachusetts was found dead in March. Speaking on the his death, Gregg Miliote, a spokesperson for the Bristol County District Attorney has said that the case is being investigated as “apparent suicide," the news agency has reported. When asked student's death due to the game, Miliote said, “We have no information on this. The case is being investigated as an apparent suicide. We are awaiting the medical examiner's final conclusions before the case is closed."

Oficial sources also told that the student was holding his breath for two minutes, media reports stated.

Also Read: Indian students' death in US 'multicausal', govt cites community issues

What is Blue Whale challenge?
IT Ministry has decribed the Blue whale challenge game as “abetment to suicide." In this game, the participants are given 50 tasks to be completed in 50 days. The task given to players get challenging day by day. As the final task, participants are challenged to kill themselves. 

Also Read: Deaths of Indian students in US: MEA says ‘no foul play, no interconnectedness’

In 2017, the IT ministry had issued an advisory on this game. Citing internet reports, the ministry said, "the Blue whale challenge is shared among secretive groups on social media networks. The creators seek out their players/victims who are in depression and send them an invitation to join." It also added that, “Players of the challenge can’t stop playing once they’ve started; they are blackmailed and cyber bullied into completing the game."

Also Read: Indian student's death in Canada: Family seeks help to bring back body of Chirag, Consulate in touch with authorities

Coming back to the reports of Indian students death in the US, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on April 15 said that the issue is a big concern for the Indian government. In 2024, as many as 11 students have died in the US so far under different circumstances. While a few deaths have been identified as murder, some were said to happen under suspicious circumstances.

Skeaking to reportes, Jaishankar said, “Obviously, in every case, wherever anything unfortunate has happened to the students, it is of great tragedy for the family, and a big concern for us… but our embassy or consulate has looked at every case and they're unconnected."

“In the wake of the rising number of similar incidents, embassies have been instructed to keep in touch with students and communicate with them to warn them about dangerous areas of cities to avoid", said Jaishankar. He furhter noted that as nearly 11-12 lakh Indian students continue to live in various countries, student welfare is very important for India.

(With inputs from agencies)


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Published: 20 Apr 2024, 11:36 AM IST
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