Mayor condoles US NRI's arrest
Rajnikant Parikh was arrested for taking part in a rally demanding suspension of a police officer.india Updated: Nov 24, 2006 20:38 IST
The Mayor and the police chief of Edison, New Jersey, have described as unfortunate, the arrest of an NRI by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) four months ago.
Rajnikant Parikh was arrested in New Jersey in July for taking part in a rally to demand the suspension of a police officer, who he claimed had assaulted him at a fireworks display to mark American Independence Day.
Parikh was taken by two ICE agents for questioning, to apparently establish his legal status in the country. The officials claimed they had deportation orders against Parikh.
Mayor Jun H. Choi and police chief George Mieczkowski released a statement Thursday calling the arrest, which occurred at a rally outside the local municipal complex, "inappropriate", said the Home Tribune News newspaper.
A three-month investigation launched after the incident looked into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Parikh by ICE agents and found that it was the result of lack of communication between different federal agencies.
The statement also said the investigation determined that the mayor and chief were not aware of the planned arrest, something they both stated on the day of the arrest.
Edison Policemen's Benevolent Association president Michael Schwarz said he was glad the issue had been put to rest and that "proper procedures and policies have been put in place to specify how a situation of this matter will be handled in the future".
"The arrest was conducted legally and lawfully," Schwarz said.
"However, the incident caused unnecessary turmoil and tension between the police department and the community," he added.
Parikh is currently being held at a Hudson County correctional facility. His lawyer Jonathan Saint-Preux said his client was a victim of a misunderstanding and was currently appealing the immigration case.