The Calcutta High Court today sought reports from the Centre and West Bengal government on steps being taken to prevent children from playing the dangerous Blue Whale Challenge game. Hearing a PIL seeking steps to stop the menace of this lethal Internet-based game, a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborty told lawyers representing the Centre and the state, "You have to take it up on urgent basis, we do not want to lose more people." The bench directed the Centre and the state to file reports on steps being taken to curb the menace of the game and to prevent children from playing it. It also directed that the reports be filed on September 21, when the matter would be taken up for hearing again. Several young people playing the game have committed suicide according to its instructions as self-annihilation is the last step in the game. Claiming that emotionally unstable children are being encouraged by a closed group in the Internet to play this game, the petitioner prayed for immediate awareness programmes in schools. The petitioner's counsel Bivas Chatterjee submitted that Kolkata has been named in a Google report as one of the 30 cities in the world where the game is searched the most. The game is played through a site which claims to provide temporary and disposable email addresses and thus making it very difficult to trace the instructors, Chatterjee claimed. The petitioner told the court that the inventor of the game, who is a student of psychology has claimed that the purpose of the game is to eliminate emotionally weak children from the world. Asked by the bench as to what the Centre is doing about the problem, Additional Solicitor General Kaushik Chanda told the court that he has no instructions in this regard from the Centre. A state lawyer present in the court too said he had no instructions from the West Bengal government in this regard. The bench then directed both the Centre and the state to file reports on September 21.
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