Odisha student falls prey to MOMO challenge; Crime Branch issues advisory
Bhubaneswar: After Blue Whale, MOMO challenge has now emerged as a serious threat luring vulnerable youth into suicides. Similar to Blue Whale, this challenge lures players into a series of violent acts, ending with a suicide dare.
S Chetan Kumar, a resident of Rourkela Railway colony, who was a 3rd year Computer Science Engineering student at a private engineering college in Bhubaneswar, became the latest victim of the deadly challenge.
After following the instructions of an unknown Whatsapp admin, Kumar on August 20 had travelled to Chennai from Bhubaneswar in a train. Subsequently, on August 22 he reportedly jumped off the 6th floor of Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Hospital.
“There is a lack of awareness in the first place, but the hostel authorities are also equally responsible. How can they remain ignorant about a boy who leaves hostel and goes to Chennai?,” Chetan’s brother said.
College official, RN Satpathy said that the victim had taken permission to go home so he was allowed to go.
“When a boy says that he needs to go home how can we stop him?” Satpathy said.
Speaking about the game, Information Technology expert, Sudhir Mishra said, “When you enter such a platform you are asked to start a conversation with an unknown person. Subsequently, you will be asked to do tasks that will harm you physically and ultimately ask you to end your life.”
Following the incident, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Odisha Police has issued an advisory on MOMO challenge and asked everyone to delete the unknown link that comes through WhatsApp messaging platform.
“It should be deleted immediately. Unknown number invitation through Whatsapp may be avoided. If some unknown number is asking for playing the game simply block that number,” the advisory read.
Earlier, the Union Ministry of Information & Technology had also issued an advisory against the deadly challenge asking parents and guardians to protect children from the game.