Man detained for impersonating as PMO official in Srinagar

Wednesday 22nd March 2023 06:35 EDT

Using the guise of a senior official from the Prime Minister's Office, a man from Gujarat managed to con the Jammu and Kashmir administration and its security apparatus out of Z-plus security coverage, a bulletproof Mahindra Scorpio SUV, official lodging at a five-star hotel, and much more.

The imposter, Kiranbhai Patel, also held a series of meetings with officials during his two visits to Srinagar earlier this year.

Patel was detained at least 10 days ago, but the police failed to make the arrest public. Patel was pretending to be an Additional Director for strategy and campaigns in the Prime Minister's Office. The details of his arrest emerged after a magistrate sent him to judicial custody. It's unclear if a First Information Report or FIR was registered on the same day of his arrest or there was some delay in filing it.

He is also verified on Twitter and has over a thousand followers, including BJP Gujarat general secretary Pradipsinh Vaghela. He shared several videos and pictures of his 'official visits' in Kashmir surrounded by paramilitary guards, the last of which was on March 2.

According to his Twitter bio, 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 in addition to his other degrees. As a "thinker, strategist, analyst, and campaign manager," Patel went on to describe himself.

The conman's first visit to the valley was in February when he visited health resorts.

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