(CNN) — A government official in India who drained a reservoir to retrieve a phone he dropped while taking a selfie has been suspended from his job.
More than 2 million liters of water were pumped out of the Paralkot reservoir, over a period of four days, in an effort to retrieve the Samsung handset belonging to Rajesh Vishwas, a local food inspector.
Vishwas had been out with friends last Sunday afternoon when it slipped from his grasp at the scenic spot in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.
In a video statement shared by the Indian Express, Vishwas said he rented a diesel pump to “drain some water into a nearby canal” in an effort to retrieve the phone and that he did this after asking for permission from a sub-divisional officer.
He also said that he had asked others at the reservoir to try to retrieve the phone, but they had been unable to reach it as there was too much water.
His version of events is at odds with that of his employer, who suspended him on the grounds of misusing his position – noting he had wasted millions of liters of water at a time of severe heat.
His suspension order, seen by CNN, also claims that Vishwas did not receive permission to drain the water.
In his video statement, however, Vishwas insists the water he drained was from the overflow section of the dam and “not in usable condition” anyway.