On August 30, Wednesday, 19-year-old Vignesh loving made breakfast for his family. "He was very good at making dosas. He made it for everyone at home on Wednesday," his grandmother recalled. He went to college as usual while his parents and brother went to work. When his father returned home, he saw Vignesh hanging dead. The 19-year-old had made an impression of a 'Blue Whale' on his left arm.
Madurai rural police that is investigating the death of Vignesh believe that this could be the first ever confirmed case of Blue Whale suicide. While many students are said to have committed suicide or attempted it as part of the 'Blue Whale Challenge,' Vignesh's is the first case to provide ample evidence to the investigators.
Vignesh was neither depressed nor had family issues
Both, the police as well as Vignesh's family has claimed that the victim had no reason to be depressed about anything. "The family is very attached despite having lean means. He was good at studies too and did not face any problem in college. His suicide note is very precise, one of the reasons why we believe that this is a definite case of Blue Whale Game," said Manivannan, Madurai SP.
Vignesh bought a phone only in the month of June after persistence. The local Austinpatti police confirmed to Oneindia that it was an Android phone and that Vignesh had secured a Jio connection for it for data. His family recalls how he was rebuked for the very first time about using his phone excessively on Independence Day.
"I like in Nagapattinam and Vignesh along with his family lives in Madurai. On August 14th evening, he had come to stay with me for a few days. He had an exam on Wednesday and had carried books to study. He did not touch the books and spent too much time on his phone. I pulled him up for it and he promised to study. He even told me that I will have to gift him any bike he wants if he completes his degree. I happily agreed," said Antony Selvam, Vignesh's grandmother as she recalled the conversation, crackle in her voice.
Since then, Vignesh was pulled up time and again by the family for spending too much time on his phone. "When his brother asked him, he refused to divulge details. He just said that he was studying and we should keep away. He was a warm child and loved his family. In the last few days, he had become distant," Antonyselvam recalled.
The police too back this statement. "Two days before his death, he forced his mother to start working. He preferred to distance himself from his family. He was deliberately keeping to himself. All of this point to the fact that he was disturbed," SP Manivannan said.
Many unanswered questions
Vignesh's family is now pointing to a mysterious call from an unknown number. "People spoke in Ceylon Tamil and abused India and Tamil Nadu. Vickey (as Vignesh was called by family) first attended the call and reacted sharply. He abused the people on the other side of the phone call. His father then took the phone and lashed out at them. Ever since Vickey came home for Independence day, I had been receiving a call from an unknown number between 1 AM and 2 AM every day. The phone would right for three seconds and before I can answer, the call is cut and the number is not getting recorded on the phone," claimed Antonyselvam.
The police once again confirm that there are voice messages on Vignesh's phone where people are heard speaking in Ceylon Tamil, a dialect of the language spoken in Sri Lanka, but there is no evidence to prove that the call had anything to do with Vignesh's suicide or the Blue Whale game.
"Yes there are some voice recordings on Whatsapp where people are heard talking ill about Tamil Nadu in Ceylon Tamil but we are yet to find out if the recordings have anything to do with the death or suicide. The police also rubbished reports of a WhatsApp group with 75 children playing Blue Whale Game. "We are still in the process of checking how he got into the game. Whether it was a link, a social media game, an app is still unclear. We are awaiting reports. We will be able to state anything further only after reports come. The family is suspecting so but we have no confirmation," SP Manivannan added.
Why are police sure of Blue Whale game?
The police believe that Vignesh got a link to the game from either the social media or a mass messaging platform. The investigators are sure of the circumstantial evidence. "He has left a suicide note mentioning the game, there is an impression of a whale on his hand, the first such in cases reported in India, he had sketched a blue whale in his bathroom using a cleaning agent. He was been addicted for quite a few days," SP Manivannan said.
Initial investigations have led the police to believe that Vignesh died due to the Blue Whale Suicide game but will confirm the same only after technical analysis of Vignesh's phone and itemised bill. What is intriguing the investigators is the fact that none of the other cases reported in India has specific inputs or hints pointing towards the game but Vinesh's is a different story.