In June, Dinesh and Tarakeshwari Rathod lived out a lifelong dream and summited Mt. Everest. They became the first Indian couple to climb the mountain together, and claimed that they’d been putting off having a child until they managed to climb the world’s tallest mountain. It’s a heartwarming story. Problem is, they are big liars who faked the whole thing.
Suspicions were aroused immediately after they held a post-climb press conference. Nobody else on the mountain at that time had seen them, and photographs appeared to show them using different equipment as they travelled up Everest. Nepalese authorities confirmed yesterday that the Rathods faked the shit out of their attempt. The Rathods stole photos from Indian climber Satyarup Siddhantanto and photoshopped themselves into them. He went to the press in India, and his original photos helped convince the Nepalese authorities that the Rathod’s had faked it.
Look at these extremely incongruent Photoshops (3 and 4 are particularly damning).
The director of the Nepalese Department of Tourism confirmed to the New York Times that the couple had indeed faked their climb. Because climbing is such a serious industry for Nepal, the government took the hoax very seriously, and banned the couple from mountaineering in Nepal for ten years. A separate investigation into the Rathods is happening in Pune, where they are both police officers nearby, but intriguingly, they haven’t shown up to work.
Indian police officials said that the couple had not been seen lately and that they had not reported to their jobs in Maharashtra, where a separate investigation is underway.
“They are not cooperating and have been absent for the inquiry,” said Ganpatrao S. Madgulkar, a police official in the city of Pune, in Maharashtra, who is looking into the case.
One place where the police can rule out looking for them: Mount Everest.