Himalayan con couple now make another tall claim, about conspiracy

Feb 25, 2017, 17:40 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

Suspended for faking their May 2016 summit of Mt Everest, Pune's constable couple now claims that they are victims of conspiracy to defame them

Satyarup Siddhanta's original photo (left), which was morphed by Tarakeshwari Rathod
Satyarup Siddhanta's original photo (left), which was morphed by Tarakeshwari Rathod

Pune: The Maharashtra police constable couple that was suspended for faking their summit of Mount Everest last year is now making another tall claim – that the entire thing is a conspiracy to defame them. Dinesh and his wife Tarakeshwari Rathod have approached the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) to appeal against the suspension order passed against them by Pune Police.

In the petition, they have named three senior cops who led the inquiry against them – Pune Commisioner of Police Rashmi Shukla, DCP (headquarters) Sheshrao Suryavanshi and ACP Ganpat Madgulkar. Surprisingly, the con couple has also named Anjali Kulkarni, one of the eight mountaineers who filed a complaint about the couple's lies. None of the other complainants are named in the petition. Neither is West Bengal-based techie Satyarup Siddhanta, who claimed that it was his pictures that the couple had morphed to prove that they had climbed the peak of Mt Everest.

Tarkeshwari confirmed to mid-day that she had sent such a notice, but refused to divulge any details. "I would not like the media to cover it now; soon the truth will come out. The matter is sub judice and I will not speak, as I am outstation."

mid-day broke the story of the Himalayan con on June 29, 2016
mid-day broke the story of the Himalayan con on June 29, 2016

The eight trekkers who made the complaint told mid-day, "We were not against the Rathods, but against the fact that they lied and maligned the name of India. If stringent action had been taken in time, such a thing would have been avoided. We had to travel to Pune and Mumbai to stop it. Our fight is for truth and now the couple has been exposed by their own department."

Also read: From Mount Everest to Ground Zero: Pune cop couple's fall from grace

Copspeak
When contacted, DCP Suryavanshi said, "Such a notice has been received by us but we cannot comment on the issue." However, sources in police department revealed, "The notice is 60 pages long and claims that the Rathods are being defamed and a conspiracy is being cooked up against them. Despite the original letters from Nepal that were pending, their suspension orders were carried out."

"This may have been done to kill the further investigation we had planned against them. But we will file a strong reply soon. They didn't turn up after their leave for climbing Mount Everest. They also remained absent during the inquiry." The matter comes before the tribunal on March 16.

Flashback

Head constables Dinesh and his wife Tarakeshwari Rathod had claimed that on May 23, 2016, both had climbed the summit of Mount Everest together and claimed to be first police couple to have done so. After receiving a complaint from eight senior members of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Mountaineering Association, the Pune city police investigated the matter for five months and found the couple's Everest climbing tales to be bogus.

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