Gujarat conman posing as PMO official in Srinagar gets Z+ security, meets top J&K officials, arrested
The Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested a conman who impersonated a senior official from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The imposter even held a series of meetings with officials and visited border areas in the Union Territory.
The alleged conman, identified as Kiran Bhai Patel, is a resident of Gujarat who posed as the Additional Director in the PMO. Reports state that Patel got a Z-plus security cover, a bulletproof Mahindra Scorpio SUV, official accommodation at a five-star hotel, and a whole lot more.
According to the reports, he had been visiting the Kashmir Valley since October last year and had also made his way through the Kaman Post in Uri, closer to the Line of Control (LoC), to Lal Chowk in Srinagar.
Patel had also travelled to several tourist places in Kashmir, including Gulmarg, claiming that the government had tasked him to look for improvement in hotel facilities in the area.
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Patel also has its Twitter account verified and has over a thousand followers, including BJP Gujarat General Secretary Pradipsinh Vaghela. He has also shared several videos and pictures of his official visits to Kashmir surrounded by paramilitary guards on March 2.
His Twitter bio states that he holds a Doctorate from Commonwealth University in Virginia, an MBA from IIM Trichy, an M.Tech in Computer Science, and a B.E. in Computer Engineering. Patel went on to describe himself as a thinker, strategist, analyst, and campaign manager.
There are several videos of him being accompanied by police officers and the paramilitary as he visits various places. He is seen walking through snow at Doodhpathri in Budgam with paramilitary guards. He can also be seen posing for pictures in front of Srinagar’s Lal Chowk clock tower.
Security agencies became skeptical after he arrived at the airport on March 2 because there was no information regarding any VIP movement. An attempt was made to stop him at the airport, but it was unsuccessful since he had already gotten into a bullet-proof car on the way to the hotel.
The J&K police then arrested the alleged conman for interrogation when they found forged identification cards in his possession. He was produced before a court in Srinagar last evening for the extension of his police remand.
An FIR has been registered at the Nishant Police Station in Srinagar against Patel under relevant sections of cheating and forgery of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). According to the FIR, Kiran Patel indulged in activities within the jurisdiction of this police station and other parts of the Kashmir Valley.
Two police officers have reportedly been put under investigation for their mismanagement and negligence in identifying the imposter.
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