Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

Was ‘Death Note’ as FB cover Rahul’s distress signal?

- Rajeev Mullick

LUCKNOW: Death Note. This was the Facebook cover picture of 14-year-old Rahul Sridhar of La Martiniere College who jumped to death from the college building on Friday. The image posted in January further reads: I’m the God of the new world.

Death Note is a popular Japanese manga series (comics) of psychologi­cal thriller and detective fiction genre following Light Yagami, a high school student, who discovers a supernatur­al notebook, which grants its user the ability to kill anyone.

On Saturday, as the school management checked Rahul’s Facebook page, they were left a bit puzzled. The authoritie­s are now busy finding out what drove Rahul towards the thriller. Not only that, the school is also looking into social media posts of several other students so that if anything concerning is found, the parents could be counselled before things get out of hand.

Besides, the school will consult expert psychologi­sts to counsel students. Principal Carlyle McFarland himself will hold a seminar on suicidal tendencies and advise students to value their life, as it is a precious gift of God. He will educate them on keeping depression at bay and not let sadness get the better of them.

Psychologi­cal experts feel that most people contemplat­ing suicide give warning signs of their distress, which parents, teachers and friends need to pick up so that timely help could be provided.

“If any friend of Rahul’s had noticed his signals in time and helped him, he would have not taken this extreme step. It is important for friends to not take these warning signs lightly,” says Dr Manju Agrawal, professor and director of Amity Institute of Behavioral and Allied Sciences, Lucknow.

She said, “If you notice any changes in behavioura­l pattern of a child, reach out to help him. There has been a rise in suicidal tendencies among adolescent­s in the last decade.”

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