An Indian government official has been suspended after he ordered a reservoir to be emptied to recover his Samsung smartphone, valued at around 1,200 euros. It took three days to pump millions of liters of water from the Kherkatta reservoir, after Rajesh Vishwas dropped his phone while taking a selfie. When they found it, the phone was too damaged to work. Vishwas claimed that it contained sensitive government data and needed to be recovered, but he has been accused of abusing his position. After local divers failed to find it, he paid to have a bomb brought in. He claimed that he had verbal permission from an official to dump “some water into a nearby canal,” adding that the official told him that “it would actually benefit the farmers, who would have more water.”
The pump ran for several days, emptying some two million liters of water, apparently enough to irrigate 600 hectares of farmland. His mission was halted when another official, from the department of water resources, arrived following a complaint. “He has been suspended pending an investigation. Water is an essential resource and cannot be wasted like this,” said Priyanka Shukla, a district official. Vishwas has denied abusing his position and has said that the water he drained came from the overflow section of the dam and was “unfit to be used”.