Thiruvananthapuram: As more cases of online gambling-induced suicides are being reported in the state, police have raised suspicions over the death of a 14-year-old boy in Chirayinkeezhu here. The police started collecting more details to confirm if the boy was addicted to online games.
Sabith Muhammad, a student at Prem Nazir Memorial Government HS School in Koonthalloor, was found hanged in his home on 8 November. He is the son of Shanavas and Sajeena, from Mudapuram.
When Sabith’s cell phone was examined, only normal games were found. But his family have raised suspicions about his addiction to online games. They raised doubts that Sabith was using various game apps with secret passwords on her mother’s phone.
Based on this statement, the police decided to send his phone for a detailed forensic examination, Inspector GB Mukesh informed. At present, the police have registered an unnatural death case.
Sabith’s father who works in Muscat returned to his place of work on October 22 after vacationing with his family here. The boy used to attend his classes online using his mother’s phone. He used the phone to access notes shared by teachers. He is suspected of having installed online games on the phone without the consent of his parents.
On the day of Sabith’s death, his mother had taken him to the schooling center in the afternoon. Around 2:30 p.m., he went to his room with the phone saying he had to finish some notes. At that time, only her mother Sajeena was present at home.
Since Sabith didn’t come out of her room until 5 p.m., Sajeena went to her room and found it locked from the inside. As there was no response from the room, Sajeena asked neighbors for help to open the door. Sabith was found hanging from the window bars.
Games were hidden on the “Calculator” app
Sabith’s father, Shanavas, reported that Sabith hid the games on the calculator app using a secret password. When Shanavas returned home after his son’s death, his younger son Basith Muhammad told him about Sabith’s addiction to online games. He opened the app with a password revealed by Basith and found hidden game apps on the phone. But since each app had separate secret passwords, he failed to open them.
“Normally, a child would have no idea how to tie the knot to hang himself. The people who tried to save Sabith struggled to untie the knot. Therefore, they cut it for releasing Sabith from it,” Shanavas said.
Sabith had written ‘Goodbye’ in her notebook after drawing a star. By committing suicide, he was wearing his uniform which had been sewn two days ago. A bicycle used by his 3-year-old sister Sairah was seen near the corpse.
Shanavas pointed to these facts as implying that Sabith was engaged in certain online gambling related tasks. The grief-stricken father added that he was speaking out about his doubts in the hope that no other child would face such a disaster.