A teenager’s tragic death has been linked to the Momo ‘suicide’ challenge that encourages people to complete extremely dangerous tasks.
The 18-year-old man was found hanging in a pig shed with the words “illuminati”, “hanged man” and “devil’s one eye” inscribed on a wall.
The name of a girl was also written on a wall, along with the words “doped up” and “metal”.
The graffiti has raised suspicions that the student, named as Manish Sarki, killed himself after following instructions from the game.
His mum, Chandra Maya Sarki, told the Hindustan Times: “My son was sincere, hardworking and innocent. He used to play online games.
“I strongly believe that Momo challenge took him away from us.”
Manish’s cousin Arjun Ghatani claims he had seen “hanged man”, the drawing that the tragic teen had painted, in a Momo app.
Arjun said: “The game is responsible for his suicide.”
Police around the world have warned parents about the sick online game, which is played over social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook.
It begins when players receive an invitation to message the shadowy controller of an account called “Momo”, who preys on users’ gullibility or fears.
The account sends violent images and instructions for potentially deadly tasks, and threatens the player if they refuse to follow the game’s orders.
In some cases the account may threaten to access or release personal photos or information or warn of a “curse” from “Momo”.
Its macabre avatar is a terrifying bird-woman with longhair, bulging eyes and a creepy smile.
The challenge has been linked or been suspected in the deaths of a number of teenagers in recent months.
In the latest case, Manish had been reported missing before he was found dead in a secluded area near his home in Kurseong, India, on Monday.
His parents contacted police, and detectives are now probing whether he is the latest victim of the online game.
Harikrishna Pai, a police superintendent, said police were trying to unlock the teen’s mobile phone to “get vital clues on the reason of the suicide”.
Police in the UK have posted warnings about the disturbing game, while this week cops in the Canadian city of Gatineau, Quebec, said: “Block all accounts that are trying to reach [you] with a ‘momo challenge’ account.
“We don’t have the power to shut down the profile.”