Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri was appointed as the inquiry officer on Wednesday, to probe various aspects related to the Kashmir visits of Gujarati imposter Kiran Patel. Mr. Patel had posed as a senior official of the Prime Minister’s Office and availed security cover to visit “sensitive locations” in the Valley.
In an order, Mr. Bidhuri has been asked “to inquire into the various aspects related to the visits of Mr. Patel to Kashmir during the past months, and security arrangements made thereof”.
The inquiry officer shall identify the lapses on the part of the officers and officials concerned, and submit a detailed report within one week, the order said.
Earlier, an IPS-level officer was investigating the case. Mr. Patel was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police on March 2, from a five-star hotel in Srinagar.
Official sources said Mr. Patel had been travelling to Kashmir since October 2022. He posed as the Additional Director, Strategy and Campaigns, PMO, during his Kashmir trips. He visited Kashmir at least thrice in the past. The police said they had seized fake visiting cards made by Mr. Patel.
Posing near LOC
Official sources said a forensic examination of Mr. Patel’s cell phone was being carried out to dig out more about his contacts in and outside Kashmir. The police are also investigating the motive and object behind Mr. Patel’s visiting several sensitive locations in Baramulla.
Senior officials, including IAS-rank and SSP-level officers, were duped by the alleged conman. He travelled to at least four districts of Kashmir, including Pulwama, Budgam, Baramulla and Srinagar under a Z-category security cover, and was provided with a bullet-proof vehicle.
Mr. Patel, who visited Kashmir along with his wife and daughter, was also seen posing for pictures at the Aman Sethu, the bridge that connects Kashmir with Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in Baramulla’s Uri area, near the Line of Control.