New York, Sep 15 : Indian filmmaker Vijay Kumar, arrested in the US for allegedly carrying jehadi literature and brass knuckles at the Houston airport in Texas, has been released on a $5,000 bond and been asked not to leave the city till Friday.
The 40-year-old was arrested at George Bush Intercontinental Airport Friday after acting suspicious, when screeners thought they saw a possible handgun in the scan of his baggage. He was detained by immigration authorities at immigration holding facility for questioning, say media reports.
A resident of Malad in Mumbai, Kumar was released on bail Tuesday night after he spent five days at the Harris County Jail. Kumar’s lawyers Roger Jain and Grant Scheiner said there is a hearing of the case Friday, where the filmmaker has to be present.
“He’s just a victim of circumstance. They should have just dismissed the case once they found out he had relied on a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) website,” Scheiner told a news channel in Houston.
“He’d even checked the TSA regulations on the internet and was told it was ok to transport brass knuckles as long as they were in your checked-in bags,” he added.
Brass knuckles are not legal in Texas and Kumar, who was on his way to Vancouver, Canada to attend a peace conference at the invitation of a Hindu organisation, was charged with carrying a prohibited weapon.
The judge ordered his passport to be seized, federal authorities revoked his visa and then immigration held him in Harris County jail for failure to have a passport.
“But now everything against him is over and he can go back to his normal life… I don’t think he ever wants to come back to America again,” said Scheiner.
Kumar will be returned to federal detention where he is expected to be processed and “voluntarily deported” back to India.
He will reportedly travel to India via Canada.
“I was so scared. What is going on with me? But after that I feel if I am not wrong, then their people cannot do anything wrong with me,” Kumar told Houston’s KTRK-TV.
“Because I am making a documentary on jehadist terrorism, I have been doing the research on this subject for the last four or five years…We Hindus are facing the same problems Americans are facing with the jehadi people,” he said.
“So they should recognise us. If they harass us in their country what will the image of America become in my country?” he asked.