Indian Couple’s Claim of Climbing Everest Fake, Say Nepal Authorities

A photo posted by Dinesh Rathod on his Facebook page of him at Everest base camp. Credit: Facebook

A photo posted by Dinesh Rathod on his Facebook page of him at Everest base camp. Credit: Facebook

A probe by Nepali authorities has found that an Indian couple doctored photographs of themselves at the summit of Mount Everest, say reports. Nepal started the investigation on July 3.

Police constables Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod claimed that they scaled the mountain in May this year, becoming the first Indian couple to achieve this feat. However, fellow climbers contradicted their claims, accusing them of faking pictures showing them at the summit.

At the time the probe was announced, Nepal’s tourism chief Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal told ABC News: “If proven guilty, we will invalidate the Indian couple’s certificate and charge them with forgery and fraud.”

A parallel case of fraud has been launched against the couple in Pune, where they are from, based on a complaint from mountaineering associations, said a New York Times report.

Nepal’s tourism department certified the climb, earlier.

Mohan Lamsal, the owner of the agency that organised the couple’s expedition, said that the duo had gone into hiding and failed to submit original digital copies of the photographs to the agency.

The two Sherpas who assisted the duo are also unreachable, he added.

Nepal tourism officer Gyanendra Kumar Shrestha said that this investigation may lead to new rules on the certification of summits.