2 girls run away from Agra to complete task, rescued in MP
Two 14-year-old girls who ran away from Agra in UP while playing the Blue Whale Challenge game were found on the railway station in Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad district on Thursday, officials said.
The Class 9 students were spotted on Tuesday by Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel, who called the child helpline number and handed them to the Child Welfare Committee.
The CWC’s members counselled them and during their questioning, the girls said they were playing the stage two of the deadly game and were tasked to run away from home. The deadly game, created by a former Russian convict, provokes players to indulge in daring, self-destructive tasks for 50 days before taking the final “winning” step of death by suicide.
Anil Jha, a senior member of the committee who questioned the girls, said when they were informed about the incident, they first spoke to the parents and told them to reach Hoshangabad as soon as possible. “They had left Agra by Punjab Mail at 8am on Tuesday with their bags, mobile phones and laptop. They kept their phones switched off. But when school time was over at around 4.30pm, they switched on their phones. One of the girls saw a lot of miss calls and messages. Worried about what her parents might be going through, she called her brother and told him the whole story,” he said.
Jha said her brother told them to get down at the next station and that they will take them home.
“On Tuesday evening, they got down at Hoshangabad railway station and started waiting. Spotting two young girls waiting for a long time, GRP personnel found something suspicious about their body language. They apprehended them and informed the child help line,” he said.
Jha said they were produced before the CWC on Wednesday.
“We counselled them for a long time during which they opened up and revealed that they had run away from home as tasked under stage two of the Blue Whale game. Finally, their parents arrived and we handed over them to their parents after due paperwork,” he said. Jha said it was perhaps the first case where children playing the online game had contacted their family members.
Two days after a 10-yearold student in Shimla district was found hanging from the storeroom of his house, it is still not clear if he was a victim of the Blue Whale challenge, an online game.
In his suicide note, the victim challenged everyone, including the police, to solve the mystery of his death. The last line in the note found from his room said, “Solve this puzzle”. He wrote that no one loved him and added, “Slitting veins etc is not a punishment. I will punish myself by hanging.”
The mention of slitting veins has made the police suspect the boy was playing the deadly online game.
“It wasn’t possible for him to play the game. He did not have access to either internet or mobile phone for long,” a police officer said. “However, for the past few days, he played some game on the mobile phone of a carpenter working in the house.”
The police are yet to register a case and are investigating the matter. “So far there is no evidence of Blue Whale challenge. We are investigating the case,” said SP Soumya Sambasivan.
The deadly game provokes players to indulge in selfdestructive tasks for 50 days before taking the final step of death by suicide.