MP government shrugs off Blue Whale risk

BHOPAL: If you expected the Madhya Pradesh government to swing into action after the Blue Whale-type suicide bid in Indore, it’s a tad too much to ask for when the principal secretary of science and technology department, Mohammad Suleman, shrugs and says, “What can we do?”
“What can be done if someone is playing an online game? If the game in question poses a threat to lives of people, the home department must take it up,” was Suleman’s advice when TOIasked him if the government had any plans to protect children from dangerous video and online games. Kerala, on the other hand, wants the Centre to ban the Blue Whale game in the country, citing reports of a large number of children getting addicted to the killer game. The department of science and technology is responsible for IT-related activities in MP. Instead of taking measures to prevent youngsters from falling prey to lethal online games, the department seems content passing the buck. As for the home department, additional chief secretary K K Singh said the issue would be taken up “if a proposal comes before him from the director general of police”.
Sources in the state IT centre said that the government is clueless on the risk the game poses to students, particularly teenagers. There are no plans to follow Kerala and seek a ban or even make an effort to prevent it at the state level. Over 4,000 children are said to have committed suicide worldwide due to this dangerous game. State congress spokesperson K K Mishra, was shocked when he came to know about the lukewarm response of the state government over the issue. “The government must immediately initiate steps ensure that children do not fall prey to the Blue Whale game. All state governments must do so. Strict action should be taken on anyone playing with the lives of children,” he said.

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