Death of Mountaineer Kalpana Das: Activist moved NHRC of Nepal

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Kalpana Das (right) along with Kanchhi Maya Tamang at Everest base camp. Courtesy: Dreamers destination treks

Bhubanswar: A social activist on Saturday move the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Nepal, seeking a thorough probe into the mysterious death of mountaineer Kalpana Das and other 13 climbers on Mount Everest in this spring season.

“The NHRC of Nepal should take cognizance in the matter and direct authorities to probe in which circumstances Kalpana and other mountaineer died on Mt Everest. It is due to mismanagement by authorities and allowing for overcrowding of climbers”, alleged the petitioner Mr. Akhand, a member of Civil Society Forum on Human Rights at Bhubaneswar.

49 year old climber Kalpana Das died above the balcony area on Mt Everest on 23rd May, 2019 afternoon while descending from the summit point. Kalpana along with Kanchhi Maya Tamang from Nepal and Liyamu Ma from China made it to the summit of Mt Everest at around 12:55 pm. Das, who fell ill on the descent died near the balcony area.

The 50-year-old mountaineer had left for Nepal on April 23 from Bhubaneswar. After reaching the peak, she had trouble walking because of which she was coming down with the help of Sherpas (Nepali Guides). When they reached the balcony area, her breathing stopped. One official informed their family members that her leg is not fine and that she was climbing slowly. Later official team from Nepal said her body is hanging from balcony area.

Due to mismanagement and overcrowding of climbers in mountain, in this season at least 14 climbers have been died. Death toll in this week is at least seven – more than the total for the whole of last year (2018), alleged Akhand.

According to the reports, the season witnessed at least 14 fatal incidents with five deaths on Mt Everest, three each on Mt Kanchenjunga and Mt Makalu as well as one each on Mt Lhotse, Mt Annapurna and Mt Cho Oyu till date.

The government of Nepal this year has handed out 378 permits, topping the previous record of 373 in 2017. Climbers are assisted by Nepali guides. This could mean that about 750 climbers will be attempting to scale the mountain at the same time in May when the weather is expected to be favorable.

“It comes amid traffic jams near the summit as record numbers make the ascent, despite calls to limit the number of climbing permits. There are two rows of climbers. Because there is only one fixed rope at the summit, climbers ascending and descending the summit all have to share the same rope”, Petitioner said.

Akhand demanded before NHRC through a online complaint that, “Death of Kalpana and other climbers should be investigated. In what circumstance they are died. How the dead body of Kalpana is found hanging from balcony area? One of the prime reasons of deaths is overcrowding of climbers in Mountain Area. Authorities of Nepal must be accountable for it.”

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