HC seeks Centre’s response to Blue Whale PIL

Cuttack: A public interest litigation was filed in the Orissa High Court Monday over online game ‘Blue Whale challenge’.
Acting on the petition, a bench comprising Chief Justice Vineet Saran and Justice Bidyut Ranjan Sarangi issued notices to secretary to the Union Electronics and Information Technology Ministry, state Electronics and Information Technology secretary, state Home secretary, director general of police, Crime Branch head and police commissioner. The bench has posted the hearing to September 18.
The High Court direction came in response to a petition filed by advocate Shivsankar Mohanty. The petitioner stated that the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry had issued an advisory August 11 to remove Blue Whale links from Yahoo, Google, WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter. As the advisory was not implemented, several people have fallen prey to the deadly game.
The petitioner further stated that he had written to the state Crime Branch August 29 in this regard. However, the CB only created a helpline number in this regard.
The petitioner said the Blue Whale game which originated in Russia in 2013 claimed the first suicide victim in 2015. In 2016, a journalist had explored details of the game.
The Electronics and IT Ministry has issued the advisory under Information Technology Act 2000. However, the intermediaries are not following the advisory. Consequently, the suicidal game is available online, the petitioner contended.
Due to lack of adequate measures, an engineering student in Cuttack was trapped in the game. The student, who hails from CDA sector 10, had reportedly completed 10 stages of the game and etched a picture of blue whale on his arms. The police had rescued him September 5.
Similar incidents are being reported from across the state. If the game links are not removed from the Internet, it will lead to a dangerous situation in the future, the petitioner said and sought immediate intervention of the High Court in this regard.

Dutee sees ‘game’ role in cousin’s death

Bhubaneswar: Ace sprinter Dutee Chand Monday suspected that her cousin, who died in a road accident recently, might have fallen victim to online game Blue Whale. Dutee posted her suspicion on social media stating that the Blue Whale Challenge might have taken her cousin Utkal Keshari Guin’s life. “Suspecting the activities of the 24-year old and the circumstances under which the accident happened, I checked all his posts on Facebook. Then I got to know that he had been playing the dangerous game.” She further stated that her cousin had posted photos of a cut mark on his hand, selfie on the rooftop and going outside for tea at 4 am as per the guidelines of the online game. She suspected that Utkal might have met with the accident while playing the game’s final round. However, she sought an investigation into the incident. 

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