A 14-year-old boy is recovering from attempted suicide at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) after allegedly trying to finish the last stage of Blue Whale Challenge.
The teenager, a ninth-grader who lives at Kazipara in Mirpur, Dhaka, was brought into the DMCH on Wednesday after he took sleeping pills, following the instruction he received from his Blue Whale Challenge “administrator” on Facebook.
“I finished all the levels of the challenge. The admin of the game always taunted me, saying I was a fool. They said I would not be able to finish all the levels, but I did,” the boy told reporters at the DMCH on Thursday.
He said he was introduced to the game by a Facebook friend who lives in Malaysia. “My friend sent me a link. I was curious, so I opened it and started to play,” he said.
Speaking to reporters, his father said the teenager had been a heavy mobile phone user.
“He is addicted to games on his mobile phones. We noticed a sudden behavioural change in him after Eid-ul-Azha,” the father said. “He stopped taking his meals properly. Often, we found him walking on the rooftop at night.
“The last strange thing he did was taking sleeping pills, saying that he had been instructed to do so by the game's admin. Before his suicide attempt, we had no idea what he was doing,” he added.
The teenager said bringing him to the hospital was futile. “I told my mother that admitting me here [the DMCH] would not change anything. But she did not listen to me.”
Doctors at the DMCH said they did not find the shape of a Blue Whale carved into his arm – which is typically found on the participants as it is one of the 50 tasks they must do to finish the challenge – but they found cuts on his right hand. He recently suffered excessive bleeding, they said.
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Quoting the 14-year-old's family members, the doctors said taking part in the challenge took a heavy toll on the boy's health.
He is currently being given blood transfusions to recover from the blood loss, they added.
There has been no reports of deaths caused by the Blue Whale Challenge in Bangladesh yet, but there has been claims.
On October 5, another 14-year-old named Apurba Bardhan Shorna committed suicide in her Central Road home in Dhaka; her father Subrata Barman claims she took part in this sinister online challenge, but police have yet to confirm it.
“I will definitely file a public interest litigation so no one else dies like this,” Subrata said.
On Tuesday, a first-year student of Chittagong University
was detained by police for taking part in the challenge.
The student, Rajon (not his real name), said he received the link to the challenge on his Facebook Messenger on October 5. When he tapped on the link, the game was automatically downloaded on his phone.
He said he had finished only four levels of the challenge.
Originated in Russia in 2013, the Blue Whale Challenge has become one of the most controversial trends on social media platforms worldwide and has reportedly claimed the lives of at least 130 teenagers in Russia alone.
Russian national Philipp Budeikin, a 21-year-old former psychology student, admitted to be the creator of the game, proudly claiming that he had designed the game to “cleanse the society” of “biological waste”, referring to the participants of the game, reported BBC.