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Dam drained for lost mobile, stadium track for pet dog: Ask what more the country can do for babus, netas

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In Chattisgarh, a food inspector got 21 lakh litres of water pumped out from a dam reservoir to retrieve his phone. Earlier, an IAS officer cut short practice sessions at a Delhi stadium so that he could walk his dog. These are some examples from a long list of excesses by government officials and politicians.

Rajesh Vishwas, the food inspector of Koyalibeda block, drained out gallons of water to recover his phone

Dam drained for lost mobile, stadium track for pet dog: Ask what more the country can do for babus, netas

One doesn’t need absolute power, even a sense of power is enough to corrupt and make officials and politicians high-handed. The draining of millions of gallons of water from a dam for a lost mobile phone is just another example. The water wasted without thought was meant to irrigate parched fields in Chhattisgarh.

It isn’t a first. We have seen athletes being sent home early so that a pet dog of a senior bureaucrat can be walked on the running tracks of a stadium. Police teams have been formed to track stolen jackfruit and missing buffaloes.

Rajesh Vishwas, the food inspector of Koyalibeda block, dropped his Samsung S23 phone worth Rs 96,000 into the 15-foot-deep Kherkatta Paralkot reservoir.

A pump was deployed to drain out water so that his mobile could be traced. The herculean ‘Mobilo Khojo Abhiyyan’ concluded after three days after draining 21 lakh litres of water meant to irrigate 1,500 acres of land. The mobile was found, but, obviously, after days of being submerged, it wasn’t functional.

Water meant for farms, in this sweltering summer, was pumped out and wasted just for a mobile phone.

Rajesh Vishwas is among the netas and babus who have used the state machinery and government resources for personal use.

In 2014, the Delhi Police received a complaint about two ‘kathal’ (jackfruits) being stolen from the official residence of then JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Mahendra Prasad’s bungalow on Tughlaq Road.

How could the police ignore such a matter of great importance? Without delay, a crack team was set up after a complaint was filed by the MP’s personal assistant (PA).

Delhi Police formed a special team of 10 police personnel to crack the case. The team members included men from its fingerprints bureau and the criminal investigation department (CID).

After the prima facia investigation, Delhi Police concluded that some children may have stolen the jackfruits.

This bizarre hunt for the thieves of jackfruit from an MP’s bungalow has inspired an eponymous movie ‘Kathal’.

In 2014, then Cabinet minister in the Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh government, Azam Khan, registered a police complaint with the Rampur Police about seven buffaloes being stolen from his farmhouse.

After the complaint, a full-fledged hunt was launched under then SP Sadhna Goswami to recover the stolen buffaloes. Three cops were also suspended for ‘dereliction of duty’.

Rampur police combed fields and used sniffer dogs to track down the buffaloes. Azam Khan also reportedly had CCTV footage of the nearby slaughterhouses scanned.

Later, to everyone’s relief, the buffaloes were recovered by the police from different areas.

In 2016, Agra police had to launch a hunt after Mridula Katheria, wife of Ram Shanker Katheria, the then MP from Agra, filed a complaint to the City SP of Agra about the abduction of his pet labrador ‘Kalu’.

The MP’s wife said if the police force could investigate the case of UP minister Azam Khan’s missing buffaloes, why not the case of the labrador?

Police personnel got into action. Obviously, they needed to crack the case. Under pressure, the New Agra police traced a dog resembling the MP’s pet, and added to the confusion. Which one was the real Kalu?

However, police breathed easy after the dog, lost in Agra, was found in Delhi. What’s fascinating is that the labrador was recovered within 24 hours of the complaint being lodged.


Athletes practising at a Delhi stadium complained last year about being asked to wrap up their evening training sessions early. The reason? An IAS couple needed to walk their dog on the racing tracks.

In May 2022, athletes at Delhi’s Thyagraaj Stadium complained that they were being asked to cut short their practice sessions by IAS officer Sanjeev Khirwar. The pet roamed around the track and football field even as security guards kept watch.

Khirwar was Delhi’s Principal Secretary (Revenue) then. He and his wife, Rinku Dhugga, also an IAS officer, were photographed strolling with the dog in the stadium.

However, Khirwar denied the allegations of the athletes and said that he went to the stadium after the “closing hours” of the stadium. Later, then Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia ordered the extension of training timings till 10 pm in all Delhi-run stadiums.

Later, Sanjeev Khirwar and Rinku Dhugga (both 1994-batch IAS officers) were transferred to Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, respectively.

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