Nepal bans In­dian fak­ers from com­ing back

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

NEPAL has im­posed a 10-year mountaineering ban on an In­dian cou­ple who faked pho­to­graphs pur­port­ing to show them at the top of Mount Ever­est, an of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day.

Di­nesh and Tarakesh­wari Rathod, both police con­sta­bles, said they reached the top of the world’s high­est moun­tain on May 23. But fel­low climbers cast doubt on their claim, say­ing their pho­tos at the sum­mit were doc­tored.

Nepal’s tourism depart­ment ini­tially cer­ti­fied their claim but later con­ducted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Our in­ves­ti­ga­tion shows that the cou­ple faked their sum­mit. We have im­posed a 10-year ban against them from climb­ing any moun­tain in Nepal,” tourism depart­ment chief Su­dar­shan Prasad Dhakal told AFP of the de­ci­sion made on Au­gust 29.

Dhakal said an analysis of the pho­tos sub­mit­ted by the cou­ple showed they had su­per­im­posed them­selves and their ban­ners on pho­tos taken by an­other In­dian climber of his Ever­est sum­mit.

“De­spite sev­eral at­tempts to get clar­i­fi­ca­tions from them, they did not co­op­er­ate with us dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The two sher­pas that as­sisted them are also ab­scond­ing,” Dhakal said.

“The ban should serve as a warn­ing for moun­taineers to fol­low ethics,” he said.

Many of those who reach the top of the 8848 me­tre (29,029-foot) moun­tain have gone on to make money or forge ca­reers as mo­ti­va­tional speak­ers and au­thors.

A to­tal of 456 peo­ple, in­clud­ing more than 250 for­eign­ers, sum­mited Ever­est dur­ing the re­cently-ended spring sea­son, af­ter two con­sec­u­tive years of deadly dis­as­ters that led to al­most all at­tempts be­ing aban­doned.

Mountaineering is a ma­jor rev­enue-earner for the im­pov­er­ished Hi­malayan na­tion. This year’s string of suc­cess­ful sum­mits is ex­pected to boost the industry, which was left reel­ing af­ter an earth­quake last year killed al­most 9000 peo­ple na­tion­wide.

Hun­dreds fled Ever­est last year af­ter an earth­quake-trig­gered avalanche at base camp killed 18 peo­ple.

Only one climber reached the top in 2014 af­ter an avalanche killed 16 Nepali guides that year. –

Photo: Face­book/Nepal News English

The pho­to­shopped photo (right) was dis­cov­ered af­ter fel­low climbers no­ticed it looked re­mark­ably like an orig­i­nal photo (left).

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