Be careful but don’t panic over Momo Challenge: Bengal CID

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Kolkata, Aug 28 (IANS) A day after issuing precautionary notice about the killer online game Momo Challenge, the West Bengal CID on Tuesday urged parents and teachers to keep an eye on children’s online activities but urged people not to panic.

Claiming that fake Whatsapp messages similar to the Momo Challenge game requests can be sent by technical experts using unknown numbers, a senior CID officer said the department had not got any formal complaint related to the game but was looking into cases reported by the media.

“We appeal to the masses to be careful but not to panic. It would put unnecessary pressure on the kids and their parents. Parents and teachers should check what the kids are upto on social media,” Deputy Inspector General (CID) Nishad Parvez told reporters here.

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“These Momo Challenge messages on Whatsapp can be faked. We are not saying that all the messages received by people are fakes but technical experts can send messages similar to the Momo challenge using unknown number. It is possible that a group is sending such messages to scare the social media users or to create panic among the masses,” he said.

Asked about a number of complaints registered in different districts regarding online requests for playing the deadly game, Parvez said they have not received any formal complaint and promised actions once a complaint came.

Talking about the two incidents of suicide reported in north Bengal’s Kurseong last week which were said to have been instigated by the killer game, the officer said no links have been found between the deaths and the game so far.

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“We are scanning the mobile data of the deceased kid but so far no links with the Momo game has been found with the two deaths. We haven’t found any information in the other suicide case which may prove that the girl committed suicide after playing the game,” he added.

Fear gripped parts of the state after the online Momo Challenge game allegedly made headway here earlier this month.

The game, considered a successor to the notorious ‘Blue Whale Game’, is a form of cyber-bullying that spreads through social media and cell phone.

The game features a scary image of a girl with bulging eyes. It is reported to have gained public attention in July 2018 when it was noticed by a YouTube user with a large following.

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–IANS

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