Detained Indian filmmaker Vijay Kumar leaves US

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 12:07

Houston: Indian documentary filmmaker
Vijay Kumar, who was arrested in the US after brass knuckles and `jihadi literature` were found in his baggage, has left Houston on a "voluntary departure".

Sources said Kumar, who is travelling to India enroute
to Canada, will soon reach his country, and left Houston on
"voluntary departure".

Without confirming his Canada visit, Kumar`s lawyer,
Roger Jain said that the filmmaker is out of Houston and
the United States for now.

Kumar`s departure marks an end to the tumultuous few
weeks for him during which he was arrested and jailed for over
20 days.

Pradip Parekh, a spokesman for the Hindu Congress of
America, which invited Kumar to the US, said Kumar wanted to
go home and out of the country as soon as possible.

"It`s so outrageous, and hard to swallow that Indian
government didn`t do much to secure his freedom earlier,
despite the fact that it promises in the Indian passport that
it will take care of its citizens in any country," he said.

He hoped that appropriate action would be taken to
ensure that such an event did not occur again with innocent
Indian citizens in the future in any foreign land.

Kumar was convicted of illegally carrying brass
knuckles in his checked airport baggage.

He pleaded "no contest" to a misdemeanor weapons
charge in exchange for time served and so he could be returned
to India soon.

Kumar was sentenced to 20 days in jail and given
credit for time served.

The 40-year-old resident of Malad in Mumbai was
detained at Houston airport security on August 20 after he was
allegedly noticed acting suspiciously and Islamic
"fundamentalist" literature was found in his carry-on bag.

He had been invited to Houston to participate in a
Hindu organisation`s conference. The literature was said to be
used to educate the participants on the recruiting techniques
of `Jihadists`.
A search of Kumar`s checked-in baggage also found brass knuckles, which are illegal in Texas.

Although the item can be carried in stowed luggage,
according to the TSA, but it`s against Texas state law to
possess them.
That landed Kumar in county jail where his passport
was taken from him, and in ICE detention for failure to have a
passport.

After he made bail for the state charge on August 23,
federal authorities revoked his visa and detained him, without
bail.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 12:07

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