Indian Couple Accused Of Faking Everest Summit Climb
Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod, both 30, were widely celebrated after they announced they’d reached the summit of Mt Everest on May 23, as the first Indian couple to successfully reach the summit.On social media, the proud pair shared images of them on top of Everest’s peak, holding the banner of the police force they both work for.
It was a feel-good story that was widely celebrated in India, especially following the recent deaths of three West Bengal climbers on Everest.But now, rival mountaineers are calling out the Rathods’ story.
They say the couple photo shopped images of themselves to make it appear they’d reached the summit — but they hadn’t got there at all.One of the accusing mountaineers, Satyarup Siddhanta, even pointed out an image of Mrs Rathod holding an Indian flag atop the summit looked suspiciously similar to a photo of his own.Media outlets are now questioning the Rathod’s story and police have begun to investigate.
Veteran climber Surendra Shelke said the timing of the couple’s climb was also unusual.
“Our suspicions were first aroused owing to the 2 week time lag between the day the Rathods claimed to have reached the summit and their press conference announcing their achievement,” Shelke told the Hindu newspaper.
Shelke said while the Rathods were seen at the Everest base camp, no one had seen them higher up the mountain.
“From the people in the team who accompanied the Rathods, we gathered that the duo had not even reached what is known as the first acclimatisation rotation before the main push to the summit — the Khumbu icefall — by May 10,” Shelke said.
“So, there is no way they could have completed their climb by May 23 as they claimed.” Complaints were also made against the couple in 2014 after they claimed they had completed the “Aussie 10” of climbs, with Mt Kosciusko the highest peak.
However Makalu Adventures, who organised the pair’s climb, said there was no doubt of the couple’s achievement on Everest and the claims were due to rivalries between the mountaineers, the Washington Post reported.
Mohan Lamsal, president of Makalu, said: “After these complaints, I have asked our Sherpas more than 100 times. They always said we climbed to the top together, there is no doubt sir.” He added: “We have to trust our Sherpas. There has been no hanky-panky here.”
Hanky Panky aside, these two photos DO look pretty similar. What do you think?