Nirmal Purja may face action for taking giant flag to Mt Ama Dablam

Published On: November 18, 2019 07:58 AM NPT By: SUPRIYA SHARMA

KATHMANDU, Nov 18: Record holder Nepali mountaineer Nirmal Purja Magar could face action after a team of Kuwaiti mountaineers assisted by Purja unfurled a giant Kuwaiti national flag from the summit of Mt Ama Dablam (6812m) on November 12. 

Social media users came down heavy on Purja after he posted a video on social media of a giant Kuwaiti flag on the mountain on November 16.

Purja, who is known as Nimsdai on social media, had guided the Kuwaiti team to Ama Dablam shortly after he set a world record for summitting all fourteen 8000ers in 190 days. 

The Kuwaiti flag could be seen from as far away as Khumjung, 3,000 meters below and 12 km away from the mountain.

On Sunday, the Department of Tourism (DoT), the body responsible for handling mountaineering, summoned Purja and grilled him for his involvement in taking the giant flag to the mountain ‘without seeking prior permission from the department’.  

Danduraj Ghimire, director-general of the department, informed that Purja and his team has furnished a written statement. A team of officials from the department had questioned Purja in length regarding his team’s involvement in unfurling the flag from the top of the mountain. 

Purja, who had defended his move on social media before furnishing his clarification to the department, told officials that he was unaware of any provision that requires mountaineers to seek prior permission to take flags to the mountain. 

“It seems like people do not do enough research nowadays and they seem very keen to put their opinion with only little knowledge,” Purja wrote on Twitter Saturday. 

During questioning by the department on Sunday, Purja reportedly said he and his team was unaware that permission was needed for taking a flag to the mountain. 

“The expedition had taken permission for flying drones, but had not sought permission for taking the giant flag,” said Ghimire, adding, “If they had asked for permission we would have granted it as this would further boost Nepal-Kuwait relations and be a plus point for Visit Nepal 2020.” 

Ghimire said they will discuss the matter among all stakeholders including those from the tourism and conservation sectors and decide what action to take against Purja.

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