The Jammu and Kashmir police acknowledged the arrest of the fake PMO officer Kiran Bhai Patel two weeks later after a local news outlet in Srinagar broke the story on March 17, but the affair still remains unsolved.
The questions over a Gujarat resident who posed for weeks as a high-ranking official from the Prime Minister’s Office on a visit to Jammu and Kashmir refuse to go away.
On March 17, Jammu and Kashmir police announced the arrest of Kiran Bhai Patel, who allegedly passed himself off as an “additional director (strategy and campaigns) PMO New Delhi” during multiple visits to the Union territory.
Many doors opened for Patel during his visits to Kashmir, according to media reports. He stayed in a five-star hotel, was given Z-plus security cover and an official bullet-proof vehicle for his movement in the Kashmir Valley – all of which was paid for by the government. He allegedly met senior government officials and visited sensitive locations.
On March 2, an alert was shared by Jammu and Kashmir Police’s intelligence wing with the Srinagar district police about the “arrival of an impersonator in Kashmir”. A day later, Patel was arrested.
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The Jammu and Kashmir police acknowledged the arrest two weeks later after a local news outlet in Srinagar broke the story on March 17 .
But how could someone described as a “fraudster” and a “conman” succeed in taking the security apparatus and government machinery in a sensitive region like Jammu and Kashmir for a ride? Who sanctioned elaborate security arrangements for him?
Several former police officers and bureaucrats Scroll spoke to said the police do not provide security cover at this scale to any individual without proper communication from the government.
The answers, if at all they are forthcoming, do not add up.
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