Blue Whale Game: HC asks govt to block links | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 17, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:01 AM, October 17, 2017

Blue Whale Game: HC asks govt to block links

The High Court yesterday directed the government to block for six months the links and gateways of online "Blue Whale Challenge" game, which is blamed across the world for suicides among its players, and other such deadly games.

The other games include Ghost Pepper Challenge, Cinnamon Challenge, Choking Challenge and Ice and Salt Challenge, harmful for the human beings' mental and physical health.

In response to a writ petition, the court ordered the authorities to restrain for the same period the mobile phone operators from offering special night-time internet packages with discounts, saying such offers encourage the public to search and eventually play such games.

A rule was issued as well, asking the authorities to explain why they should not be directed to block the links and gateways of deadly online games and to restrain the mobile phone operators from offering the special packages, petitioners' lawyer Mohammad Humayun Kabir Pallob told The Daily Star.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and mobile phone operators -- Grameenphone, Robi, Airtel, Banglalink, Teletalk and Citycell -- are among the respondents. 

The HC also asked the government authorities to form a monitoring committee with experts to identify the victims affected by the games and to provide them with counselling if necessary.

A bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice JBM Hassan came up with the order a day after three Supreme Court lawyers led by Mohammed Kawsar filed the writ petition.

In the petition, the lawyers said Blue Whale game and other deadly games like this were responsible for many suicides by teenagers around the world, and sought action to stop people from playing such games.

At the same time, they requested the HC to order the authorities to take necessary measures to protect the public from dangerous and deadliest affects of the games and to formulate appropriate guidelines for protecting people from cyber crimes.

During the hearing yesterday, advocate Subrata Bardhan, one of the petitioners, told the court that his 14-year-old daughter Apurba Bardhan Swarna, who was a very brilliant student of class eight of Holy Cross Girl's High School, recently committed suicide after playing the Blue Whale game on smartphone.  To this, the court said smartphones should not be given to children.

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Grameenphone and Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222

Banglalink:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

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