With the widening of digital reach to the population, come the perils of ensuring cyber security and its continuous incorporation in the law and order framework. In this light, the Kolkata Police and the West Bengal CID have done commendable work with regard to prevention and awareness creation on the Blue Whale Challenge. The Blue Whale Challenge is an online (social media and application based) game intended to end in the suicide of the participant, including tasks leading up to their eventual death and all of it incited and organised by a number of hosts conducting it.
The game has led to reported cases of bullying and harassment and suicide abatement that has become a serious concern for law and order all over the world. The reason the Kolkata Police’s management is commendable most because it tackles the issue not only by enforcing the law but also by acknowledging that both mental health and suicide are socio-cultural issues that require sensitisation and awareness creation to be dealt with. Police have issued awareness creation videos and memorandums for parents of teenagers (who are known to fall prey to this game the most) and are trying to combat the menace of this internet game. This initiative has helped in creating a more conducive environment for victims or their near ones to approach the police to report cases of cyber-bullying or attempt of suicide. It is commendable how the Kolkata Police has identified the need to use the digital sphere to combat this problem while taking a more systemic approach to a sensitive issue of law and order. While speedy investigation of existing incidents is one part of the job, another is police’s forward looking initiatives to stop this matter from escalating.