The conman from Gujarat, Kiran Patel, who was caught impersonating a high-ranking officer of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), had invested only Rs 100 to trick the local administration, reported Times of India.
Patel got only 10 visiting cards for Rs 100 from a printing press in Maninagar which showed him as the additional director (strategy and campaigns) with the PMO, added the report.
Quoting an unidentified source, the newspaper reported that he used these visiting cards in his meetings with four bureaucrats, some senior BJP leaders, and police officers in Srinagar during his last visit in February and March. And that he used to take those cards back after the visit to use them again and again.
Patel and his two accomplices – Amit Pandya and Jay Sitapara – called up various officers, including a senior police officer of Srinagar, to arrange for a hotel, Z+ security, and a bulletproof vehicle for him and two others.
According to sources, before his arrest, Patel also scolded a senior police officer for not providing a mobile-signal jammer to accompany his escort in Srinagar.
A senior officer of Gujarat police said that Patel, Pandya and Sitapara sold dreams of Kashmir plots to various senior leaders and retired government officers.
“It seems, he was backed by some bigwigs, otherwise he would have desisted from posting his stature as a ‘PMO officer’ on social media. Flaunting the Z+ security, roaming in forward areas of Kashmir, and posting videos and pictures with defence personnel raised suspicion against him after which he was caught,” a source told Times of India.
His social media posts also showed him as a “creative consultant” with the Union government.
Nishat police of Kashmir registered a complaint under charges of cheating by impersonation, cheating, forgery of valuable security, forgery for the purpose of cheating, and producing forged documents as genuine under IPC against Patel.