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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: After successfully eradicating the ‘Blue Whale’ Challenge, the Commissionerate Police has expedited measures to put a check on the the new killer game ‘MOMO Challenge’ (A challenge that lures players into a series of violent acts, ending with a suicide dare) which is spreading its tentacles in the State in a swift pace.

As per sources, the Commissionerate Police would sensitise people, especially school students on the 'Momo Challenge' and will also make efforts to remove the fear of reaching out to  police through ‘Know your Police’ campaign.

On the other hand, the Ganjam Police has already begun the process of eradicating the deadly online game by organising an awareness campaign among the Principals and Headmasters of Colleges and Schools of Chatrapur, Chamakhandi and Ganjam PS jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, in a tweet message, the Odisha Crime Branch warned people of the MOMO Challenge saying, “Don't meddle with her. She is dangerous, dirty and disastrous to your life.”

Here’s the detailed advisory issued by the Odisha Crime Branch:

What is MOMO Challenge?

On social media a game with name MOMO Challenge is being circulated by some mischievous and criminal minded people. This game instigates people, especially children to commit suicide as final task. Some innocent people around the world have fallen prey to this malicious game.

There is need for parents and teachers to be aware of this threat and save the children from it.

In MOMO Challenge, one unknown number having the profile of a girl’s distorted face with protruding eyes and wide mouth appears with a WhatsApp invitation from an unknown number.

The perpetrators of this horrific crime monitor the status and profiles of people on social networking websites to target people with suicidal tendencies.

MOMO challenge comes through unknown WhatsApp number. Therefore: (a) Unknown link coming to your WhatsApp number should be deleted immediately, (b) Unknown number invitation through WhatsApp may be avoided, (c) If some unknown number is asking for playing game simply block that number.

Also Read: Odisha Student Falls Prey To MOMO Challenge; Crime Branch Issues Advisory

Signs and Symptoms of Victim:

Becoming withdrawn from friends and family, Persistent low mood and unhappiness, Looking worried, Not carrying out day to day tasks, Sudden outbursts of anger directed at themselves or others, Loss of interest in activities that they used to enjoy, Visible marks like deep cuts or wounds on any part of the body of the child.

Advice to Parents: Please keep your eyes open for:

Unusually secretive behaviour of children mostly related to their online activity

A sudden increase in the time they spend online, especially social media.

They seem to change screens on their device when approached

They become withdrawn or angry, after using the internet or sending text messages

Their device suddenly has many new phone numbers and email contacts

Keep close watch on the behaviour of your child/children

If you have found that your child knows about somebody playing MOMO challenge games, inform the parents, teachers, guardians of such children

Check with your child, ask how things are going. Ask if there have been things stressing them or anything that has them worried.

Monitor your child's online and social media activity to ensure they are not engaging with this game.

Install a good cyber/mobile parenting software which helps in monitoring your children.

Take reports from teachers in the school at regular intervals.

If you fear your child may be at risk, get professional help right away.

Remind your child that you are there and will support them as they face life challenges.

Keep a constant watch if your child or child’s friends are involved in some violent act.

Advice to Teachers:

Keep a close watch on the behaviour of all the students

Keep the parents informed about the children who are suspected to be playing MOMO Challenge Games

Conduct a random check of mobile phones of the students if the MOMO challenge applications are installed in their mobile phones and take necessary steps

Keep a constant watch if your students or their friends are involved in some violent act

Advice to Media:

Media is requested not to publish any unverified news and connect any death/suicides to MOMO challenge without proper verification.

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