Z-plus security, 5-star hospitality and more: Gujarat conman poses as IAS officer in Kashmir, takes administration for a ride

The man, identified as Kiran Patel from Gujarat, was arrested on March 3 in Srinagar. He was produced before a local court for extension of police remand.

kiran patel
Kiran Patel reportedly travelled to several tourist places in Kashmir, including Gulmarg. (Photo: Srceengrab)

Kiran Patel, a resident of Gujarat, was arrested from a five-star hotel in Srinagar for posing as an Additional Secretary-rank officer of the Indian Administrative Service associated with the Prime Minister’s Office. Patel was arrested on what is claimed to be his third visit to the state on the pretext of a government mandate.

Taking the administration for a ride, Patel reportedly travelled to several tourist places in Kashmir, including Gulmarg. The man reportedly said he had a government mandate to improve tourism facilities in the region. On another occasion, Patel claimed that the government had sent him to identify buyers for apple orchards in south Kashmir.

Naming top-ranking bureaucrats and politicians in the national capital at the drop of a hat, Patel not only managed to impress IAS officers in the state, but also ensured he received Z-plus security cover, a bulletproof SUV and five-star hospitality during his stay on two occasions. He was arrested on March 3, his third visit to the Kashmir Valley, reported news agency PTI.

Patel, who has a verified Twitter account, has been sharing videos of his visits to the Valley. “The scenic valley of Gulmarg is a little piece of paradise cocooned by the mighty snow-clad mountains of the Pir Panjal range. Emerald green meadows, deep ravines and pine-forested hills make this meadow of flowers (the meaning of #Gulmarg) an ethereal sight,” Patel captioned a video he tweeted on February 26 this year.

Another video shows him walking in snow flanked by armed paramilitary personnel. “Jai Hind,” he captioned the tweet posted on February 27.

Patel’s dream run came to an end as alert security officials smelt something fishy on his arrival in Srinagar on March 2 since there was no information of any VIP movement. He was later questioned and subsequently arrested the next day from a five-star property in Srinagar. Several forged identity cards were recovered from his possession.

Patel claims to have a PhD from Commonwealth University, Virginia, an MBA from IIM Trichy, as well as an M Tech in Computer Science and BE in computer engineering. He has over 1,000 followers on Twitter and is followed by BJP Gujarat general secretary Pradipsinh Vaghela.

Patel was produced before a Srinagar court on March 16 for extension of his 14-day police remand. He has been booked in a case under relevant sections of cheating and forgery.

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First published on: 17-03-2023 at 12:29 IST
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