National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Saturday termed the Jammu and Kashmir administration “incompetent” after a conman posing as a PMO official got the requisite perks, and claimed it was befooled four times.
Kiran Patel, the fraudster 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.
Patel was on this third visit to the Kashmir Valley when he was nabbed by security officials on March 3.
Addressing a party function in south Kashmir district, Omar Abdullah said, “My colleagues are not provided security even after so many requests. When they have to travel and seek an escort, the police say they do not have any vehicle or personnel… It is fine that you do not have a vehicle, we cannot complain. But when a fraudster comes from outside, then you have the vehicle available.”
A person came from Gujarat and said he was an officer in the PMO but, no one verified his claim, the NC leader said.
“They should have called the PMO to verify his credentials, or a letter would have come from there. We understand that you (J-K administration) were befooled once, but what incompetent government is this that you were befooled four times,” he said.
The former J-K chief minister said the fraudster was provided with a bulletproof vehicle, an escort at the front and the other at the back, a room in a five-star hotel, and he held meetings with officers every evening.
Referring to Patel’s photographs and videos which have gone viral on social media, the NC leader said Patel went to Gulmarg to inspect hotels there and even visited the Line of Control (LoC) in the Uri sector where confidential information may have been shared with him.
“He went to Uri, to LoC and was given a tour of the border. We do not know what he was told there and what confidential things were told to him. What government is this?” Omar Abdullah asked.
He said fingers were being pointed out at a deputy commissioner, but the reality is that the security was sanctioned by the police headquarters.
“A retired officer was made to write that it is the fault of a DC (deputy commissioner). I was a chief minister myself, a DC is no one to provide security. That decision is taken at the police headquarters. An ADGP decides whether to provide security or not. The decision to provide a vehicle is taken in the secretariat. A DC does not provide for the bill of a five-star hotel, the Finance Department, the (hospitality and) protocol department clears that. If this is not incompetence, then what is?” he asked.
Lashing out at the Jammu and Kashmir administration, the National Conference vice-president said this administration was not for providing succour to the people, but only to please the PMO.
“This one (Patel) was arrested. But we do not know how many frauds must have come here. We do not know which hotel they stayed in. Some say three came here and then left. Is this a government? This is the problem. This government is not to provide succour to the people, but to please the PMO. This is the difference between an elected government and one thrusted from above,” Omar Abdullah added.