(Top- Morphed Photo shared by the Dinesh Rathod, Tarakeshwari is
seen holding the Indian national flag atop Mount Everest . 
Bottom- Actual Photo shared on the FB page of a mountaineering 
organisation, another climber Satyarup Siddhanta.

TNN | Jul 6, 2016, Kolkata: The Nepal government is likely to put a ban on the Pune couple who had allegedly morphed the photographs of Kolkata-based mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta to drive home their claims of making it to the Everest summit. The tourism department, which has issued certificates to the Pune couple – Dinesh and Tarakeswari Rathod – might also be revoked.





The department has already forwarded its recommendation of banning the couple to the minister of tourism and culture Ananda Prasad Pokharel. “We have gone through the entire complain raised against the Pune-based couple who claimed to have made it to the summit of Mount Everest. We have forwarded our observation to the ministry,” said Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal, director general of Nepal tourism.



According to sources, the country’s Tourism Act has provisions for banning any one from mountaineering or even entering the country. “Investigation is on and the decision of the Nepal government is pending. But if they can issue a certificate, they have the provision to revoke it as well,” Himalayan Rescue Association chairman D B Koirala said. The Nepal government might impose a 10-year or even a lifelong ban on the couple, a source said.

Meanwhile, Siddhanta, the mountaineer whose Everest summit photographs were morphed, has approached minister of state for sports Laxmi Ratan Shukla for help. “It is not in the court now, but we will definitely help in whatever way we can,” Shukla said.




Siddhanta has already lodged an FIR with the cyber police station of Kolkata Police. Siddhanta’s lawyer Bibhas Chakraborty on Tuesday said Kolkata Police was looking into it and they were waiting for the reports. The Pune constable couple is yet to join the office, a top official with the Pune police commissionerate said.


Agencies: Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod were celebrated  for being the first Indian couple who, on 23 May, had summited Mount Everest. Now there is considerable doubt that the two 30-year-olds really reached the highest point. The summit picture of Tarakeshwari Rathod that the two Indians submitted to the Nepalese Tourism Ministry to receive their Everest certificated, obviously turned out to be a forgery. Apparently by using an image editing software, the face of the Indian woman was copied to the summit picture of her compatriot Satyarup Siddhanta.
Siddhanta had reached the summit on 21 May. The 33-year-old accused the Rathod couple of having manipulated another of his pictures to document that both had reached the summit. The two climbers on this photos were he himself and Malya Mukherjee,Siddhanta wrote on Facebook: “This is so so so amazing! They took my pics and photoshopped their image of summit. And got certificates too. Where is mountaineering going?”
Gyanendra Shrestha from Nepal Tourism Ministry told the newspaper “The Himalayan Times” that the Everest certificates had been issued to the Rathod couple on 10 June after verifying the documents and summit photos. The official acknowledged that it was difficult to see whether summit pictures were manipulated or not. But the department had not received any complaints against these climbers. The Nepalese Operators Makalu Adventure Treks, who had organized the expedition of the Indian couple, indicated that nothing was wrong with the photos. In addition, they said, the Sherpas Furba and Fursemba, who had assisted the Indians to summit, had also claimed that they had been on the top on 23 May.
The police of the western Indian city of Pune, for which both Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod have been working for the past ten years, has announced an investigation. The couple declined to comment on the allegations. They said, they had submitted all details to the authorities, including the certificates of the Nepalese Tourism Ministry.
Even after the 2012 Everest season, there had been allegations that summit photos had been forged. At the time, were accused: two climbers from Pune. Those who blackened them: climbers belonging to another group from Pune. Back then, the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism, after having examined the allegations, saw no reason to refuse the summit certificiates.
Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod, both 30, had been widely lauded for their achievement on May 23, when images showed them proudly unfurl the banner of the Pune police force, where they both work as constables, atop the world’s highest peak. 
Satyarup Siddhanta, pointed out on Facebook that an image ostensibly showing Mrs Rathod holding an Indian flag atop the summit published on the website of their Nepalese tour company Makalu Adventures appeared to be a crudely photoshopped version of one of his own images.
The couple appear to be wearing different coloured climbing gear in different photographs of their alleged ascent, the group added, asking in a written dossier sent out to journalists: “Is it possible to change your costume or shoes and still not have frostbite? What does it indicate?”
Although they do not dispute the couple were at Base Camp, the group has also alleged – citing other climbers who were present – that the pair did not arrive there until early May, too late to acclimatise for a summit attempt.
“It is 100 per cent false, total fiction,” said veteran climber Surendra Shelke, the group’s leader, last night.