A government official in India who emptied a reservoir to recover a phone he dropped while taking a picture has been suspended from his job.
Over a four-day period, more than 2 million liters of water were pumped from the Paralkot reservoir to recover the Samsung cell phone of Rajesh Vishwas, a local food inspector.
Vishwas was out with friends last Sunday afternoon when he lost his way in the scenic spot in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarhwith.
In a video statement shared by the Indian Express, Vishwas said he hired a diesel pump to “drain some water into a nearby canal” to retrieve the phone and that he did so after asking a sub-department official for permission.
He also said he asked others at the reservoir to try to retrieve the phone, but they couldn’t reach it because there was too much water.
His account of events conflicts with that of his employer, who suspended him on the grounds that he had abused his position – on the grounds that he wasted millions of liters of water during a period of great heat.
His suspension order, seen by CNN, also alleges that Vishwas was not given permission to drain the water.
However, in his video statement, Vishwas insists the water he discharged came from the overflow section of the dam and was “not in usable condition anyway”.