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”. His lawyer, Roger Jain, confirmed 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. He was convicted of illegally carrying brass knuckles in his baggage. Although the item can be carried in stowed luggage, but it’s against Texas state law to possess them. That landed Kumar in county jail where his passport was confiscated. He was sentenced to 20 days in jail and given credit for time served.
Framed? The 40-year-old resident of Malad, Mumbai, was detained at the Houston airport security on August 20 after he was allegedly noticed acting suspicious and Islamic “fundamentalist” literature was discovered in his 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’.
After he made bail for the state charge on August 23, federal authorities revoked his Visa and detained him, without bail. Kumar’s purpose Pradip Parekh, a spokesman of 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.