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March 22, 2023 11:20 pm

Two Accomplices Of Gujarat Conman Join Probe in Srinagar

By Majid Nabi

Srinagar- Two of the alleged accomplices of a Gujarati conman, who ‘masqueraded’ as a senior official of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), have arrived in Srinagar to assist the police in the investigations, marking significant development in the high-profile case.

Sources in the police department told Kashmir Observer that Amit Pandya and Jai Sitapara both from Gujarat have joined the police probe against Gujarat conman Kiran Bhai Patel, who posed as a PMO official and got the requisite perks, including a bulletproof car and scores of security personnel before arrested by police on March 3.

Sources said the duo appeared before the officers investigating the case and are presently staying at a hotel in Srinagar.

“They have arrived here four days ago. They have not been arrested as reported by a section of the media. They were asked to report to the police for investigation and they are cooperating quite well,” sources said.

Pandya, sources said, deals with IT related products and his father works with the public relation (PR) branch in the Gujarat Chief Minister’s office. They also said the questioning of the duo will continue until proven innocent.

Sources said Sitapara and Pandya, according to them, had met the main accused in the hotel, wherein he was staying before being arrested by the police.

They said that the duo will definitely be arrested in case their involvement with the conman is established.

“Definitely, they will be arrested if proven guilty, or else will be released. Investigation is on and hopefully police will crack the case soon,” sources added.

The story of Patel unravelled earlier this month when he visited Kashmir for the third time, each time passing himself off as Additional Director (Strategy and Campaigns) Prime Minister’s Office, New Delhi.

Patel was conferred with Z-plus security cover, a bulletproof SUV and official accommodation at a five-star hotel in Jammu and Kashmir. He was on his third visit to the Kashmir valley and was subsequently nabbed by alert security officials on 3 March.
Besides one case in Srinagar, Patel faces three cases under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including cheating, forgery and breach of trust, dating back to 2017 registered against him in police stations in Ahmedabad and Baroda, police said.

Purported videos of Patel surveying the snow slopes of Gulmarg with a posse of armed security personnel around him and of a convoy of vehicles accompanying him weaving through a Valley town have been circulated widely across social media platforms.

He had even visited the last post at Uri in north Kashmir, posing for pictures at a bridge treated as a Line of Control between India and Pakistan. (With PTI inputs)

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