Court reserves order on bail plea by Gujarat conman

Gujarat conman Kiran Patel
Gujarat conman Kiran Patel

SRINAGAR — A court here on Monday reserved orders on the bail plea of a man from Gujarat, Kiran Patel, who conned the security establishment in Jammu and Kashmir into believing him to be a PMO official and got the requisite perks prior to his arrest earlier this month.

The prosecution opposed the bail plea, saying that the investigation in the case is still in its infancy. On the other hand, the counsel representing the accused argued that the liberty of a person was sacrosanct and that there are no “serious” offenses against him.

After hearing the submissions of the counsels, the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Srinagar Raja Mohammad Tasleem reserved the order to be pronounced on Thursday (March 23), according to the news agency GNS.

Kiran Patel, the imposter hailing from Gujarat, posed as an Additional Director (Strategy and Campaigns) in the Prime Minister’s Office and enjoyed many perks, including a bulletproof car and security cover besides other hospitality. Kiran Patel was on his third visit to the Kashmir Valley when he was nabbed by security officials from a five-star hotel in Nishat area of Srinagar on March 2.

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Police have ruled out any intelligence failure in the entire episode but blamed field officers for “lapse” with a further avowal of action against those involved. “There has been a proper FIR in this case. See, when Srinagar Police got information on March 2, a team headed by a senior IPS officer arrested him red-handed. Fake visiting cards were recovered,” ADGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar (IPS) has said.

“Rigorous interrogation was done. He remained under police custody for 14 days. He is presently in judicial remand. He is in jail completely,” he had said, adding, “We are professionally carrying out the investigation. We are taking help from Gujarat Police and nobody will be spared.”

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Asked about “clear cut” guidelines by MHA that no security should be given to anyone on verbal instructions, he had said, “The SOP is there from the beginning. Instructions come from time to time. Police should not provide security to anyone on verbal instructions. We don’t. The mistake which has happened is being looked into and action will be taken against the officer who has given instructions.”

Asked if it was an intelligence failure, the ADGP responded in negative, saying “We cannot call it intelligence failure. There has been negligence at the field officer level and action will be taken.”

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