Mumbai: The police in Maharashtra have launched an investigation to find out whether claims by two of its officers - who are a couple - that they reached the Mount Everest peak together are genuine.
The two climbers had claimed to be the first Indian couple to have reached the top of the world's highest peak.
As per claims made by Dinesh Rathod and Tarakeshwari - both police officers in Pune - the duo conquered the 8,850m (29,035ft) summit on May 23 this year.
However, their claim has been challenged by some mountaineers.
It has been alleged that the couple used photoshopped or digitally-altered images to lend credence to their claim.
Other climbers who have contested their claim of conquering the Mt Everest peak have asked why did the couple appear in different sets of clothes and boots in the photos that they have shared.
Climber Surendra Shelke, who lives in Pune, said his suspicions "were first aroused owing to the time lag between the day the Rathods claimed to have reached the summit and their press meet announcing their achievement".
The Rathods publicly announced their achievement at a press conference on June 5.
Apart from the allegation of pictures being photoshopped, climbers also expressed doubts on the time lag between the couple scaling the summit after reaching the base camp.
The couple as well as their mountain guides have all denied faking the climb.
Tarakeshwari Rathod told the BBC that they had "climbed Everest".
The head of Kathmandu-based Makalu Adventure, which organised the Rathods' climb, told the BBC that he had "no doubt" the couple had scaled the summit.
A Pune police official said they were "clarifying the facts with the couple and a group of mountaineers" who had doubted their claim.
"The couple have (climbing) certificates from Nepal government's tourism and mountaineering department. We will approach the government to find out whether these certificates are genuine," the official, who chose to remain unnamed, told the BBC.
Pics courtesy: Makalu Adventure