Environment

Nepal slaps 6 year ban on Indian climbers for faking Everest ascent

Kathmandu, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- Nepal on Thursday imposed a six-year mountaineering ban on three Indian climbers and revoked their Everest climbing certificates for presenting false documents of ascending the world’s highest peak.

Indian athletes Narender Singh Yadav and Seema Rani Goswami, who claimed to have scaled Everest in 2016, had retouched photos depicting them standing at the summit of the 8,848.86-meter high mountain, which have to be submitted to the mountaineering department of Nepal.

“As per an investigation report – which concluded that photographs purporting to show the climbers at the top of the world’s highest mountain were faked – the government moved to revoke the climbing certificates and issue a six-year mountaineering ban on them,” tourism ministry spokesperson Taranath Adhikari, told EFE.

Nepalese authorities have also banned the expedition leader, another Indian Naba Kumar Phukan, from mountaineering in the Himalayan country for six years.

The bans will be applied with retrospective effect from May 2016.

Adhikari added that the agency that managed the Indian expedition, Seven Summit Trek, and the sherpa guide hired to carry them to the peak, have been fined $428 and $86 respectively.

Yadav, 26, was nominated in 2020 for the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award, India’s largest recognition in the field of adventure sports. However, his participation in the ceremony was suspended over doubts concerning his claims of having scaled Mt. Everest.

This is not the first case of fake Everest climb claims.

In 2016, Nepal imposed a 10-year mountaineering ban on two Indian climbers Dinesh Rathore and Tara Keshari Rathore, who claimed to be the first Indian couple to have climbed Everest and produced morphed photographs.

Apart from providing the mandatory visual proof, the climbers also have to present a report by an official, who serves as a liaison officer with the government and accompanies them to the base camp.

This year, at least 20 of these liaison officers will be equipped with GPS devices to confirm that they reach the base camp, as part of a pilot project that the government wants to extend to all mountaineers from next year.

Of the nine cases investigated by the committee over doubtful documentation, five other climbers are still being probed, including four Indians and one citizen of the United Arab Emirates. EFE-EPA

sp-daa/ia

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