The Chhattisgarh Police on Wednesday registered a first information report against a state government official for pumping out 41 lakh litres of water from a reservoir to retrieve his phone, reported PTI.
Food Inspector Rajesh Vishwas, who was posted in Koilibeda block of the North Baster Kanker district, dropped his Samsung phone into Kherkatta Dam on May 21 while taking a selfie. He had initially called local divers to try and find his phone. As the effort failed, he bought two diesel pumps that ran continuously for four days and emptied out 41 lakh litres of water, which could have been used to irrigate around 40 hectares of land.
After the incident sparked outrage, Vishwas was suspended from his post on May 26 and ordered to pay a penalty of Rs 53,000.
On Wednesday, he was booked along with Sub-Divisional Officer RL Dhiwar and Sub-Engineer Chotelal Dhruv under Sections 430 (mischief by injury to works of irrigation or by wrongfully diverting water) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Dhiwar and Dhruv work with the water department.
Vishwas had claimed that he got “verbal permission” from Dhiwar to drain out the water. On Wednesday, the state water department also suspended Dhiwar, The Indian Express reported.
But he told his seniors that he had not granted permission to the food inspector and Vishwas was solely responsible for the incident.