In a startling incident, a conman from Gujarat tricked the Jammu and Kashmir administration and its security structure into believing he was a top official in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
What is more surprising is that he held meetings with top officials in the Union territory based on this charade, with access to Z-plus security cover, a bulletproof Mahindra Scorpio SUV, official accommodation at a five-star hotel and much more.
The Fraudster, who has been identified as Kiran Bhai Patel, also had several meetings with officials when he came to Srinagar earlier this year for his two visits, NDTV reported.
Conman was arrested 10 days ago
Patel, who assumed the identity of an Additional Director for strategy and campaigns in the Prime Minister’s Office, was arrested 10 days ago, but this information was kept under wraps by the police.
The information of his arrest became public on Thursday after a magistrate sent him to judicial custody.
There has been no concrete information on whether a First Information Report or FIR was registered on the same day of his arrest or later.
Patel has a verified Twitter account
To top all of his illusions, Patel even has a verified Twitter account, followed by over a thousand individuals, including BJP Gujarat General Secretary Pradipsinh Vaghela. He has put up multiple videos and pictures of his ‘official visits’ in Kashmir shrouded by paramilitary guards, the last of which was on March 2.
His Twitter bio states that Patel has a PhD from Commonwealth University, Virginia, and an MBA from IIM Trichy. Additionally, he is claimed to have an M.Tech in Computer Science and B.E. in Computer Engineering as well. Therein, Patel is described as a “thinker, strategist, analyst and campaign manager”.
First visit to the valley in February
Patel made his first visit to the valley in February when he went to health resorts. Numerous photos of him travelling to various places accompanied by the paramilitary and the police are available. In those pictures, he can be seen walking through snow at Doodhpathri in Budgam with paramilitary guards, and he had also posed for a photo in front of the clock tower Lal Chowk in Srinagar.
Media reports quoting sources revealed that Patel also held meetings with officials to discuss bringing more tourists from Gujarat and making Doodhpathri a famous tourist destination.
How Patel came under suspicion
Patel came under the scanner of the authorities only after he came to Srinagar on his second visit within two weeks. It has come to light that an IAS officer, who is a district magistrate, told the police about the visit of a “senior PMO officer” last month.
The intelligence agencies cautioned the police about a conman posing as a PMO official. Upon his background verification, the cops were directed to capture the man from a hotel in Srinagar.
As per an India Today report, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Pulwama, Basheer ul Haq and the Superintendent of Police, Zulfkar Azad, were questioned by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on how the alleged conman was not caught on time.
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