MANOJ KUMAR SHRESTHA
SOLUKHUMBU: Three foreigners preparing to scale Mt Everest got thrashed near Camp-II yesterday afternoon.
Workers associated with Expedition Operators’ Association beat up the foreigners‚ who had set out on the expedition through the Kathmandu-based Cho-Oyu Treks‚ in a dispute over rope fixing.
A government official at the Everest base camp identified the injured as Italian citizen Simone Moro‚ who is associated with Fishtail Air‚ British national Jonathan Griffith and Swiss national Ueli Steck.
The two sides have their own versions of the incident. The injured tourists said they got attacked for no apparent reason‚ whereas the workers claimed that they retaliated after Italian citizen Moro threatened them identifying himself as an international tourist guide. Moro and Griffith have sustained minor injuries‚ while Steck has received a deep cut on his face.
Preparations are on to airlift Steck to Kathmandu from Lukla. The other two were taken to the base camp for treatment last evening.
Nimanuru Sherpa‚ managing director of the Cho-Oyu Treks‚ said injured tourists have threatened to quit the expedition if they do not get security guarantee. He urged the government to provide security to the tourists. “This incident has saddened me as it will tarnish Nepal’s image in the world‚” Sherpa complained.
Communication officer at the Everest base camp‚ Da Dendi Sherpa‚ said‚ “Facts will come out as the investigation into the incident has already begun.”
Meanwhile‚ Solukhumbu chief district officer and police chief have pledged to arrest the guilty on the basis of investigation. DSP Sudansingh Basnet said his office has already deployed police personnel for a probe. CDO Sitaram Karki assured foreign tourists that they would be provided with security‚ adding that the guilty will be booked and punished after the probe.