KATHMANDU: Nepal today imposed a 10-year ban on an Indian police couple from climbing any mountain in the Himalayan nation for faking photographs purporting to show them at the summit of Mount Everest.
Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod, both said to be in their 30s, had claimed that they summited the peak of the Everest, the world's highest mountain on May 23.
But fellow climbers raised doubt on the claim of the couple, both police constables from Pune, saying their photos at the summit were manipulated.
Nepal's Tourism Ministry earlier certified their claim but later carried out an investigation, which proved to be fake.
"Our investigation has found that the couple faked their summit. We have cancelled the certificate and imposed a 10-year ban against them from climbing any mountain in Nepal," said Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal, chief of the Tourism Department of Nepal.
Dhakal said an analysis of the photos submitted by the couple showed they had superimposed themselves and their banners on photos taken by another fellow Indian climber who summitted the 8,848-metre Mt Everest on the few days earlier.
"We sought clarification from them, but they did not cooperate in our investigation," said Dhakal.
"The ban should serve as a warning for other mountaineers to follow ethics," he said.
A total of 456 people, including more than 250 foreigners, summited the world's highest peak during this year's spring season, after two consecutive years of deadly disasters that halted the climbing mounted mountains.