Two men accompanying Gujarat conman Kiran Bhai Patel, who posed as a senior official of the Prime Minister’s Office, have been called for questioning by the Jammu and Kashmir police, sources said. One of them, Amit Hitesh Pandya, is the son of an official in Gujarat Chief Minister’s office.
While Kiran Bhai Patel was arrested, Amit Hitesh Pandya and Jay Sitapara — both residents of Gujarat — were allowed to go as the police thought they could have “fallen into the trap of the conman,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.
The men were in the “official team” led by Kiran Bhai Patel who had taken the Jammu and Kashmir security and administration for a ride, securing Z-plus security cover, official accommodation at a five-star hotel, and a lot more.
Amit Pandya’s father Hitesh Padya, Public Relations Officer at the Gujarat Chief Minister’s office, said he knows his son has been called for questioning by the police in Srinagar. He denied any wrongdoing by his son.
“I have much, much trust on my son. He would never indulge in any such activity” said Mr Pandya. “I don’t know what the police have written about him. I would not like to comment on anything which I don’t know. If had any solid information I would have certainly shared with you,” he added.
The police said the father of Amit Pandya has nothing to with the issue. “Amit is 45 year old. He’s independently running a company and his father has no association with him,” said an officer.
The arrest of the conman, which took place on March 2, was kept under covers by the police. Its details emerged only after a magistrate sent him to judicial custody on last week.
The officer denied reports that three of conman’s accomplices had managed to escape. “We let them off for few days and have called them for examination again. As part of investigation, we are examining everyone including police officials and others who have any information about conman’s activities” the officer said.
Sources say besides Amit Hitesh Pandiya and Jay Sitapara, and Trilok Singh from Rajasthan was also staying with Patel at a five-star hotel in Srinagar and impersonating an official team from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Kiran Bhai Patel came under suspicion after he arrived in Srinagar on a second visit within two weeks. The intelligence agencies alerted the police about the conman and the police were asked to arrest him from a hotel in Srinagar.
Patel is verified on Twitter and has over a thousand followers, including BJP Gujarat General Secretary Pradipsinh Vaghela.