Representational image. Photo: NDTV

Twenty students at a school in Belagavi Cantonment were found with cut marks on their hands, sparking fears that they were playing a notorious online suicide game, according to media reports. The students admitted that the self-inflicted cuts were inspired by the Blue Whale challenge, which has been blamed for a spate of teen suicides.

The Kendriya Vidyalaya school students, 16 boys and four girls, initially claimed that the injuries were accidental, but later admitted that they had deliberately cut themselves to create the impression that they were playing the game.

“I questioned the students at length and found that the cut marks were nothing but a bid to attract the attention of fellow students,” principal Arun Kumar Singh told Times of India.

The Blue Whale challenge involves 50 tasks curated by an administrator, including waking up at odd hours, watching horror videos, listening to designated music, and visiting cemeteries alone. The final task is to commit suicide by jumping off a building.