Gujarat conman Kiran Patel posing as PMO official arrested in J&K: What we know so far
Kiran Patel, a man hailing from Gujarat, was nabbed on March 3 by security officials for posing as a top-ranking bureaucrat while on his third trip to Kashmir valley. He was arrested from a five-star hotel in Srinagar.
Days after the arrest of Kiran J Patel – the alleged Gujarat conman held for posing as Prime Minister’s Office official while taking trips to Jammu & Kashmir, his advocate Rehan Gohar questioned Friday that if Patel visited vulnerable places in the Valley as the police have alleged, then how it was possible for him to manage protocols. He also mentioned the involvement of another person in the matter, other than Patel. Kiran Patel was arrested by security officials on March 3 and has been sent to 15-day judicial custody by a Jammu and Kashmir court on Friday, news agency ANI said.
What did Patel’s advocate say?
“...as per his family's statement, police allege that he posed as a high official and trespassed in the state. He also visited vulnerable places where a common man could not go. How come he managed the protocols?” Patel’s advocate said while speaking to news agency ANI.
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Advocate Gohar said that Patel’s family said once they previously visited Kashmir with proper documentation from the government. “As per his (Kiran Patel) statement, all allegations are baseless and subject to trial. The accused's family says it is a reflection of some political rivalry,” the advocate said. He further added that Patel told him about being accompanied by another person. “The police recorded his statement under 164A before the magistrate and the other person was set free by them in Nishad,” he claimed.
Who is Kiran Patel?
Kiran Patel was nabbed by security officials in Srinagar on March 3 while on his third visit to the Kashmir valley. He was arrested under relevant sections of cheating and forgery for impersonating an ‘additional secretary’ in the Centre, a day after the case was registered.
Hailing from Gujarat, Patel claimed he had been tasked by the government to identify buyers for apple orchards in south Kashmir and was roaming on a ‘Z plus’ security cover. On one of his visits to Gulmarg, he also claimed the government had tasked him to look for improvement in hotel facilities in the area.
His Twitter handle – a verified one – showed him successfully evading security scanners as in multiple videos and pictures of his visits in Kashmir, he is seen surrounded by paramilitary personnel. He claims to have a PhD from Commonwealth University, Virginia, an MBA from IIM Trichy, as well as an M Tech in Computer Science and BE in computer engineering.
How was Patel arrested?
When Patel was on his third trip to Kashmir and landed at the airport on March 2, the officials were suspicious of him as they had no information about any VIP movement. The officials made an attempt to stop him at the airport itself, but he made his way to the hotel in a bulletproof car. He was arrested by police from a five-star hotel in Srinagar. Following his arrest, the security officials also recovered forged identity cards from his possession, news agency PTI reported.