Doctors at Dhaka Medical College Hospital are examining a 14-year-old boy to ascertain whether he made an attempt to take his own life out of depression or due to being addicted to the much-hyped “Blue Whale Challenge” game.
The teenager, resident of Mirpur in the capital, was admitted to DMCH in an unconscious state on Tuesday night after he apparently took antipsychotic medication.
The boy's father said his son -- who attained a scholarship in talent pool in fifth grade exams -- keeps busy on his Smartphone most of the time and he started behaving strangely since last Eid-ul-Azha.
At times, his son left the house after becoming rowdy with family members, he said.
Dr Muktadir Bhuiyan, assistant registrar of Unit 7 at the DMCH Medicine Ward, told The Daily Star that they had to wash out the patient's stomach as he became unconscious after taking two strips of antipsychotic drugs.
On various parts of the boy's body, they also found old scars inflicted most likely by sharp objects such as blades -- an apparent sign of self mutilation, he said.
After regaining consciousness, the boy told Dr Muktadir that he had been playing the "Blue Whale" game and he so far reached level 15. The game administrator had assigned him to carry out disorderly activities such as misbehaving with parents, stealing his friends' cellphones, going out of the house abruptly and going to the rooftop at night.
Citing his conversation with the boy, the doctor said he had been depressed and the added pressure of the game was too much for him to handle. Besides, he appears to have a grudge against his father as he (the father) spends very little time with him.
The intensity of the pressure and the overall situation might have led the boy overdose himself with the antipsychotic medication, he observed, saying, "He has been recovering gradually from the effects of the medicine."
Najmul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of social media monitoring team of the cyber security department of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said the boy might have played the “Blue Whale game”, but they are yet to gather any evidence that would enable them to draw a conclusion that he had tried to commit suicide after playing the game.
"We haven't found any proof or complaint that anyone committed suicide after being a victim of the game in Bangladesh,” he told The Daily Star.
He cautioned all to be vigilant about fake news that are being circulated in the social media about people committing suicide after playing the game. "We are keeping a close eye on all these activities."