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US: Indian filmmaker pleads guilty, to return to India soon

September 09, 2010 01:58 IST

Indian filmmaker Vijay Kumar has pleaded "no contest" after he was convicted on Wednesday of illegally carrying brass knuckles in his luggage, so he can finally return home.

Kumar was convicted today of illegally carrying brass knuckles in his checked airport baggage. He pleaded "no contest" to a misdemeanour weapons charge in exchange for time served and could be returned to India in about a week. Kumar was sentenced to 20 days in jail and given credit for time served.

Kumar agreed to the plea deal to avoid further jail time and immigration charges.

"He's just a victim of circumstance," said his attorney Grant Scheiner. "They should have just dismissed the case once they found out he had relied on a TSA website," he said.

"I don't think he ever wants to come back to America again," the attorney said.

40-year-old Kumar, a resident of Malad in Mumbai, was detained at Houston airport security on August 20 who said he was acting suspiciously and had Islamic "fundamentalist" literature in his on bag. He had been invited to Houston to participate in a Hindu organisation's conference.

The literature was used to educate the participants on the recruiting techniques of 'Jihadists', Scheiner said. A search of Kumar's checked baggage 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.
Kumar will be returned to federal detention where he is expected to be processed and escorted to plane back to India.


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