Man arrested for pretending to be official from PM Modi’s office

Man arrested for pretending to be official from PM Modi's office
A screenshot from a video showing Patel with a security cover in GulmargKiran J Patel/Twitter

Indian police have arrested a man for posing as a senior official from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office.

Kiran Patel was on a visit to the Kashmir valley on 2 March when he was detained by security officials, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported. He was arrested the next day.

Police has charged him with cheating, impersonation and forgery.

A police complaint filed against him says Patel was trying to secure “monetary” and “material benefits”.

Patel’s arrest came to light on Thursday when he was produced in court.

He has a verified Twitter account and counts an official of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) among his followers.

Photos shared by Patel on his Twitter and Instagram pages show him on “official visits” to Kashmir surrounded by paramilitary guards.

According to PTI, on one visit, Patel claimed he had been asked by the government to identify buyers for apple orchards in south Kashmir.

On another visit, he travelled to popular skiing destination Gulmarg and claimed the government had asked him to look into improvement of hotel facilities in the area.

Reports say Patel was given the highest level of security, travelled in a bulletproof car and stayed at official accommodation at a five-star hotel during his visits.

Court documents reveal security officials found forged identity cards in his possession.

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