India police
Police probing the case said Vignesh was the victim of the Blue Whale challenge - Representational image Daniel Berehulak /Getty Images

An investigation has been launched into the suicide of a 19-year-old boy from the south Indian city of Madurai, who was found hanging from a ceiling fan on Wednesday (30 August).

Police probing the case said that Vignesh was the victim of the deadly Blue Whale challenge. The online suicide game has taken the lives of at least 130 participants in Russia.

The teenager apparently played the game for 50 days, before taking his life. An image of a whale was also found carved on his left forearm with the words "Blue Whale" written beneath it.

"Blue whale is not a game but disaster. You can enter it, but cannot exit the game," the note found near Vignesh's body read.

Investigators said they were checking the phone and contact details of the boy. Vignesh was a member of a WhatsApp group consisting of 75 friends, which apparently prompted him to play the suicidal game.

Police have seized the phone and are analysing if his friends might have taken the challenge too.

The city's superintendent of police Manivannan said: "We are searching the cell phone of Vighnesh and will try and detect the other members in the group as mentioned by his mother. The players will try and etch a whale picture on their arm and this is the sure shot indication of impending danger to the life of the teenagers.

"At present, there is a WhatsApp group that we are trying to investigate."

A special team has also been formed, which will involve analysts from the cyber-crime wing, to prevent more deaths due the deadly game.

"We have created a separate WhatsApp group for parents to complain about children playing Blue Whale game and we'll directly go to the child's home with Councillors to analyse the situation," Manivannan said.