India today said it has offered to provide all possible assistance to Indian filmmaker Vijay Kumar who it maintained was questioned allegedly for want of appropriate documentation and not put under detention in Canada.
"It is understood that Vijay Kumar flew into Vancouver from Houston on 16th September. The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has informed High Commission of India, Ottawa, that he was questioned allegedly for want of appropriate documentation and that he is not under detention," an official statement said in New Delhi.
The External Affairs Ministry said the Consulate General of India (CGI) in Vancouver is also in contact with CBSA and Baldev Singh Sandhu, Attorney of Vijay Kumar.
However, Sandhu, citing ‘attorney-client relationship’ and Canadian Privacy laws, has declined to share any information about the status, location or plans of Vijay Kumar, the Ministry said, adding CGI has offered to provide all possible assistance, if required, to Sandhu.
Meanwhile, Vijay has expressed fears that he may face a similar ordeal as he did in the US where he was jailed for 20 days for carrying brass knuckles and 'jihadi' literature.
"I got in the same circumstance here in Canada when I reached the airport. Those people told me that I have a criminal background, so you can't enter Canada and so we are going to deport you. I suffered the same thing in America, I was told the same thing. Then I told them that I am not a criminal, I just have a misdemeanour case in US," he told an
Indian TV channel.
40-year-old Kumar flew to Vancouver from Houston where he was sentenced to 20 days in prison after being arrested for carrying brass knuckles and 'jihadi' literature in luggage.
"I have a valid visa and I got the option of voluntary departure from the US. I have a valid visa and hence I told them (Canadians) that you cannot deport me, I do not want to be deported," he told 'Times Now' on phone.
"They then told me that I was under examination and they did not put me in jail. I was allowed to go to the hotel. They have seized my identity card and other legal documents. They told me that it would take another 2-3 days. I have been called everyday and they have interrogated me every day in detail."
Asked why he did not return to India immediately after his release from the Houston prison, he claimed he was afraid to return home.
The filmmaker, a resident of Malad in Mumbai, was held at the Houston airport on August 20. He had been invited to Houston to participate in a Hindu organisation's conference.