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21 Jul 2018

ITBP did not help find Pemba: Everester

SUBHASISH CHAUDHURI and VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Jul 21, 2018, Krishnagar: Mountaineer Basanta Sinha Roy on Friday accused the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) authorities of "non cooperation" in rescuing climber Pemba Sherpa, who fell into an icy crevasse in the Karakoram a week ago.

Sinha Roy, a climber attached to the Mountaineers' Association of Krishnanagar (MAK), claimed that an ITBP team present near the spot on a separate mission had not helped his team rescue Pemba even though they were better equipped.

Sinha Roy, who had scaled Mount Everest in 2010, and Pemba were descending after scaling the Saser Kangri IV peak in the Karakoram on July 13. Pemba, 45, a resident of Darjeeling, scaled Everest eight times and six other highest peaks of the world. He was a member of the MAK.

Speaking to media persons in Krishnagar on Saturday, Sinharoy said: "On July 13, when our initial effort to rescue Pemba failed, we approached the ITBP team members to join us. They were in a plateau expedition. But they refused, saying without any official nod they would not be joining us. So I called up Indian Mountaineering Federation officials who, in turn, contacted the ITBP's DIG. But unfortunately no approval came until July 15 morning when the ITBP found it not worth to begin the search".

ITBP officials could not be immediately contacted.

Sinha Roy, however, ruled out submitting any formal complaint with the IBTP authorities. Tashi Sherpa, brother of Pemba and who was also part of the team but had returned from the base camp due to illness, spoke on similar lines in Darjeeling.

The MAK has said it will raise funds to help the family of Pemba, who is survived by his wife and three children.

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