24-yr-old Pune businessman hanged himself while playing Blue Whale, suspect cops

Updated: Feb 16, 2018, 09:51 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh | Pune

A 24-year-old businessman from Kondhwa is suspected to have fallen prey to the deadly Blue Whale Challenge

Illustration/Ravi Jadhav
Illustration/Ravi Jadhav

A 24-year-old businessman from Kondhwa is suspected to have fallen prey to the deadly Blue Whale Challenge. He allegedly committed suicide yesterday, and post-mortem revealed many self-inflicted injuries and the shape of a whale on his body, based on which the Kondhwa police believe the online game to be the reason. The deceased has been identified as Yusuf Yakub Shaikh, a resident of Santosh Nagar. He was in the scrap business and also assisted his father in the family business.

He was addicted to mobile games and would often be seen playing after work. His friends used to try and dissuade him from spending so much time on online games, but they didn’t know he had taken up the Challenge, the police said.

Sub-inspector B S Ahiwale said, “Yusuf had four mobile handsets. It appears he was addicted to games on his cellphones and would play till the wee hours. His family said he would usually wake up only around noon. On Thursday, when he didn’t get up, they assumed that he must have slept late and hence didn’t go to wake him up. Later, when they noticed that he kept getting calls but wasn’t answering any, they went into his room and found him hanging.

“We have not found any suicide note. There were many self-inflicted injury marks on his body. Post-mortem revealed a whale carved on his leg. We have found out that he had spoken about the Challenge with his friends, but they didn’t know that he had actually been playing it. Prima facie, it appears to be a suicide due to the Blue Whale Challenge. We are investigating further.”

In January, schools across Maharashtra were instructed to form dedicated advisory committees to keep students away from the dangerous Blue Whale Game or the Blue Whale Challenge, which had caused a few children's deaths. 

In the same month, the Lok Sabha was informed that there is no evidence of anyone committing suicide while allegedly playing the Blue Whale challenge.

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