‘Never knew the whale had bit­ten our girl’

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - He­men­dra Chaturvedi he­men­dra.chaturvedi@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The fam­ily of one of the two 14-year-old girls who ran away from Agra while play­ing the Blue Whale Chal­lenge and were res­cued from Mad­hya Pradesh, is still at a loss for words.

The Class 9 girls left Agra by Pun­jab Mail at 8am on Tues­day with their bags, mo­bile phones and lap­top and were found at the rail­way sta­tion in Mad­hya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad district on Thurs­day, of­fi­cials said.

Though re­lieved after their daugh­ter re­turned home, fam­ily mem­bers have pro­hib­ited the girl from talk­ing to any­one about the in­ci­dent.

Her fa­ther was called by school author­i­ties after he re­turned with his daugh­ter who, sur­pris­ingly, did not seem too shaken about the in­ci­dent.

The school was aware that the girls had left their house after wor­ried par­ents con­tacted them on Tues­day evening. It was re­vealed that they bunked school as well as the tu­ition classes they at­tended to­gether and changed their uni­form be­fore board­ing the train.

Dis­turbed by the in­ci­dent, one of the un­cles of the girl said, “I had read about this Blue Whale Game and we would laugh at those who opted to par­tic­i­pate in it. But we never knew one of our fam­ily mem­bers had al­ready been bit­ten by the whale.”

He added, “She used to go for tu­itions after at­tend­ing school and we had no idea about her plans of board­ing a train on Tues­day morn­ing. We were wor­ried when she didn’t re­turn by evening and be­gan look­ing for her. But we re­ceived a call at about 10pm on Tues­day and came to know about her well be­ing.”

Fam­ily mem­bers said the girl was good in stud­ies and so­cial and never showed any signs of be­ing in­volved in the deadly on­line game.

Once her fam­ily knew about her where­abouts, the girl was con­vinced to re­turn home on the pre­text that her mother was un­well. “What can we do? We can’t check their mo­bile and lap­top nor can we take them back,” the un­cle said.

The prin­ci­pal and teach­ers at the girls’ school also chose to re­main quiet over the episode but is­sued a press state­ment later in the day.

“We too are con­cerned and will in­ves­ti­gate the par­ents’ claim that the girls trav­elled on their own with­out in­form­ing the par­ents while play­ing the Blue Whale game,” the prin­ci­pal said.

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