Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday hit out at the Centre over alleged conman Kiran Patel who was arrested for impersonating as a government official in the Union Territory, asking how a government which got 'tricked' by an imposter, is expected to resolve issues of the valley.
"You must have seen that a man (Kiran Patel) came here and told the government here that he works in the PMO (Prime Minister Office), they didn't even try to find out," the National Conference leader said while addressing a rally in Jammu.
He further took a swipe at the Centre over Patel's ability to trick the Union Territory officials into giving him 'Z plus' security and a bulletproof SUV among other facilities saying that this happened in the territory because it is an "imposed government", not an elected one.
He went even further by lambasting the BJP for not providing security to the ex-minister who have been facing threats.
"We have a colleague, an ex-minister who faced attacks and doesn't get an escort vehicle even if he requests with folded hands...This is the difference between an elected government and a government imposed from the top," Mr Abdullah said, further asking how can a government that doesn't know the difference between an actual officer at the PMO and an imposter, to resolve people's actual issues.
Jammu and Kashmir police arrested a man from Gujarat posing as a senior official of the Prime Minister's Office in Srinagar on March 3.
According to the police statement, on March 2, 2023, the CID wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police gave information to the Police about the arrival of an impersonator in Kashmir.
A team of Jammu and Kashmir Police rushed to the hotel where the man was staying, the statement added.
The man was identified as Kiran Bhai Patel a resident of Ahmadabad, Gujarat who was impersonating himself as Additional Director (Strategy and campaigns) PMO New Delhi, the statement said.
As his replies were found suspicious, he was taken to Police Station Nishat wherein he admitted his crime. Ten fake visiting cards and two mobiles were seized from him, the statement added.
Cases under sections 419,420,467,468, and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were registered in Police Station Nishat on March 2, 2023, and the investigation was taken up.
According to the statement, a team of SP East Srinagar, SDPO Nehru Park, and SHO Nishat are leading the investigation.
The accused Kiran Bhai Patel was arrested on March 3, 2023, and is in police remand up to March 17, 2023, the statement added.
Many relevant persons have been examined in this case. The case is at the initial stage of the investigation. Further details of this case will be shared later on, the statement said.
However, Mr Abdullah cornered the administration to hire Aptech Limited to conduct various recruitment exams in the union territory and demanded a probe into the matter.
"This governmnet is not at all trying to resolve the issues of the people. We want inquiry into who brought Aptech here and where did the fraud take place. The youth should be reassured that their future won't be toyed with," he added.
The recent move of the Jammu and Kashmir government to again consider Aptech Ltd to conduct various exams including the Finance Account Assistant exam stirred the protestors.
"The Lieutenant Governor administration should rise to the occasion and take necessary measures for the larger benefit of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir," demanded the protestors.
He also cleared his party's stand on the J-K LG Manoj Sinha's criticism of NC, and PDP over the recruitment process in the UT and said that they are not "advocating" that hardcore militants should be given government jobs.
"Nobody is advocating that hardcore militants should be given government jobs but it is also wrong to punish somebody just because they have the misfortune of being related to a terrorist. This is not the way to win the hearts and minds of people and this is not something that we will ever support," he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)