Gujarat Conman Manages Z+ Security Cover, Luxury Hotel and Access to Jammu Kashmir’s High Offices

by Raashid Andrabi

SRINAGAR: Kiran Bhai Patel, a resident of Gujarat, who falsely claimed to hold a high position in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and had meetings with influential individuals in Jammu and Kashmir, has been formally arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on March 3.

The arrest followed a day after the police registered a case of cheating and forgery at police station Nishat against the conman.

Patel had been posing as an additional director (strategy and campaign) in the PMO and was caught during his third visit to Kashmir, where he was staying at a luxurious Srinagar five-star hotel. He received a Z-plus security cover, an armoured SUV, and luxurious lodging, which raised suspicions when he arrived in Srinagar for the second time in two weeks without any prior VIP movement information available to security agencies.

Dr Kiran J Patel, the Gujarat conman who took Jammu and Kashmir administration for a ride for most of February till he was arrested on March 3, 2023. This photograph shows the so called PMO officer at Kama

The FIR, registered by Srinagar Police at Nishat Police Station, revealed that Patel had been using criminal means and forgery to carry out his activities within the jurisdiction of the police station and other parts of Kashmir. He had allegedly been involved in cheating gullible individuals and pursuing a well-conceived scheme to gain monetary and material benefits.

Patel had been booked under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, and 471 of the IPC at Nishat police station, and the police are currently conducting a thorough investigation. Pradipsinh Vaghela, the ruling BJP’s Gujarat General Secretary, is among 5000 people who follow Patel’s verified Twitter account.

His social media posts and pictures suggest that he had been leading a lavish lifestyle, staying at luxurious hotels and traveling in bulletproof cars.

In photos shared on various social media platforms, Patel can be seen at picturesque sites in Jammu and Kashmir, often in the company of armed personnel. One picture depicts him standing in front of Srinagar’s iconic clock tower, Lal Chowk.

In his maiden February visit, Patel visited health resorts. He interacted with officials at Doodpathri and discussed way and means of improved tourist footfalls from Gujarat. He was at Shankaracharya Tempe on February 22, Doodhpathri on February 27, Gulmarg on February 26, Ahrabal on February 23, according to the photographs and videos he posted on Twitter.

Patel’s Twitter bio states that he holds a doctorate from Commonwealth University, Virginia, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Tiruchirappalli, a Master of Technology in computer science, and a Bachelor of Engineering in computer engineering. The police attempted to detain him at the airport, but he had already left in his bulletproof car for the hotel.

This incident has raised serious concerns about the security protocols in place and the ease with which an individual can impersonate a high-ranking government official and gain access to sensitive information and influential individuals. After being taken for a ride, now the authorities say they will conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and take appropriate action to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

So far, the investigation has reportedly revealed that Patel had been operating a well-conceived scheme to defraud unsuspecting individuals and companies, promising them government contracts and other benefits in exchange for monetary and material gain. He had reportedly created fake letters and documents, which he used to dupe his victims.

The police have also discovered that Patel had been in touch with several influential individuals, including politicians, businessmen, and bureaucrats, during his visits to Jammu and Kashmir. He had even managed to secure appointments with some of them, claiming to be representing the Prime Minister’s Office.

According to sources, Patel’s activities had come to the attention of the security agencies after he arrived in Jammu and Kashmir for the second time in two weeks without any prior VIP movement information available to them. The police attempted to detain him at the airport, but he had already left in his bulletproof car for the hotel.

The police seized several electronic devices, including laptops and mobile phones, during the search of Patel’s hotel room. They are currently analysing the data to gather more information about his activities and the individuals he had been in touch with.

Report said two cops may face action for extending the hospitality without verifying the details. A media report said they had got information from some IAS officer.


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