Indian official drains dam searching for lost phone during selfie mishap

PHOTO via Sanook

Indian official suspended after draining millions of litres from a local reservoir to retrieve a dropped mobile phone while taking a selfie, causing controversy and disciplinary action for involved personnel.

Rajesh Vishwas, a 32 year old food safety officer, accidentally dropped his Samsung S23 Ultra worth 39,900 baht (US$1,144) in a three-metre deep reservoir during a picnic with friends. Despite seeking help from locals who dived into the water, the phone remained unrecovered. The suggestion made was to reduce the water level to one meter in order to make it easier to find the phone.

Subsequently, Vishwas contacted the local water resources department staff and received permission to drain the water. He received reassurance that the process would not cause any issues and would even benefit local farmers by increasing the amount of available water. Vishwas then rented a diesel water pump, continuously draining the water for two days. Eventually, he retrieved the damaged phone, which was no longer usable.

However, the entire incident led to his suspension by district officials once water resources department officials arrived at the reservoir and ordered him to stop pumping water. They clarified that he had no authority to drain the water, as the reservoir served both the locals and animals during hot weather. The official who granted him permission to drain the water is also facing disciplinary action for misuse of authority by allowing water release without higher-level approval. Both have received orders to provide explanations for their actions, reported Sanook.

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A letter to the secretary of the water resources department has been sent, demanding that Vishwas and the other official compensate for the loss of the water.

A few years ago, there was a selfie incident involving a French tourist who died while attempting to take a selfie. Read more about the story HERE.

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Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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