Odisha issues advisory to check spread of Blue Whale

The Odisha Police on Wednesday issued guidelines for police, parents and teachers to deal with the macabre online game Blue Whale Challenge, which has claimed several lives across the country.

The advisory tells parents to observe any changes in the eating or sleeping habits of children, a sudden drop in social interaction, too much time spent on the phone or talk about running away from home, and to immediately report if they see any such signs.

Parents have been advised to consult a psychiatrist rather than a physician if they observe any cut marks on the arms or thighs of their children.

Similarly, teachers have been instructed to keep an eye on falling grades and declining social behaviour in the pupils.

Odisha Director General of Police R.P. Sharma, who took a review meeting on the game at police headquarters in Cuttack, issued the guidelines, which also talk about how to divert the attention of teenagers from the online game.

He asked his staff to disseminate guidelines to parents, teachers and peer groups on detecting youngsters in the grip of the deadly game.

Sharma said the district police authorities were asked to instruct the police station in-charge officers to conduct meetings in schools and college.

Inspectors-in-charge and Officers-in-charge of police stations have been instructed to convene meeting with principals or heads of schools and colleges and apprise them of the dangers associated with the game.

They have been instructed to conduct frequent checking at Cyber Cafes and their computers for availability of any link or website pertaining to various online games like Blue Whale Challenge, A Quiet House, A Silent House, A Sea of Whales, Wake Me Up at 4:20 am, and take immediate steps to remove the links and format the system.

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