Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Government bans Indian couple for faking Mt Everest summit

The government has imposed a 10-year ban on an Indian police couple for morphing the photographs to obtain their Mt Everest summit certificates.
The couple would not be allowed to enter Nepal for 10 years and will be banned from mountaineering expeditions, according to a ministerial-level decision taken by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation today.
"Likewise, the government has also rescinded the certificates they gained," reads a statement issued by the ministry.
The ministry was in dilemma since there was no minister at the Ministry for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation due to political transition. However, the newly-appointed Tourism Ministry Jeevan Bahadur Shahi endorsed the legal action against the couple as per a recommendation made by the Department of Tourism. The department has the right to issue summit certificate and rescind it.
The Indian police couple Dinesh Chandrakant Rathod and his wife Tarkeshwari Chandrakant Bhelerao from Pune had made a false claim of having reached the 8,850-m summit of Mt Everest on May 23. They had submitted morphed photographs while applying for the summit certificates. But their fellow Indian mountaineers disputed their claims and accused them of crudely manipulating photographs to support their claim to have reached the top of Mt Everest.
Eight other mountaineers had lodged a complaint against the couple saying that Dinesh Rathod and his wife Tarakeshwari never made it to the summit and had 'morphed' photographs of themselves at the top, which the couple denied. But after the investigation, it was found that the climber couple had altered the photographs to support their summit claim and get certificate.
The others mountaineers had said that the couple, who had arrived at Mt Everest base camp very late in the climbing season to have a chance of reaching the top, had morphed the photographs. They also pointed to apparent contradictions in the photographs published online by Dinesh.
After 2 consecutive years of disasters on the mountain, a total of 454 mountaineers scaled the highest peak of the world this year during the March-May climbing season.
Last year 19 climbers were killed and 61 injured by an avalanche at the base camp triggered by a devastating earthquake, whereas in 2014, an avalanche at the Khumbu Icefall killed 16 Sherpa guides cancelling the entire climbing activities.

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