Krittika Biswas Files $1.5m Suit against New York City

NEW YORK, May 25 (PTI) : An Indian diplomat's daughter is suing New York City's government for $1.5 million for what she claims was a wrongful arrest on the suspicion of sending obscene emails to her teacher in Queens' John Browne High School.

Krittika Biswas, daughter of the vice counsel at the Indian Consulate in Manhattan, Debashish Biswas, also claims that she was ill-treated in prison.

Biswas alleged that she was not allowed to use the bathroom for a long-time when she was in custody at the 107th precinct. "Eventually, I had to go in front of everyone," Biswas said, referring to a small toilet that was in the cell occupied by other persons.

Her lawyer Rajiv Batra said that her more than 24-hour arrest on February 8 was a violation of international law, federal law as well as state and city law. Batra said that neither Debashish Biswas, father of the girl, nor the Consulate General of India, Prabhu Dayal, were informed of the arrest.

Batra also claimed that Biswas, 18, had diplomatic immunity that prevented her from being arrested. But the Consulate General said that US authorities informed him that the immunity did not extend to family members of the diplomat. "That did not cut any ice," said.

It later emerged that Biswas did not send the emails and the school authorities eventually allowed her back to the school after the real culprit was found.

"They based it (the arrest) on basically nothing," Krittika Biswas said, adding that the school did not suspend or arrest the Chinese student who actually sent the emails. "I don't know why he wasn't arrested... the principal pushed for my arrest."

Biswas said that a cop told her that if she didn't confess, she would have to spend time in prison with prostitutes and persons with HIV. "I was sitting there (school) with handcuffs on," she said.

The handcuffs, Batra added, were so tight that "they were like a torture device."

The New York Police Department did not respond to calls and an email seeking a response.

Batra lashed out at principal Howard Kwait and the teacher Jamie Kim Ross, who was the recipient of the emails. "They did not do the due diligence before getting her arrested," he said. "They were dead wrong."

Krittika said that she couldn't drink water from a water fountain because it had another person's vomit, and although it was really cold, she could not use the blanket because it was really dirty.

Dayal said that Krittika deserved compensation from the government. "She has undergone mental torture and physical torture," he said. "This has scarred her mind for the rest of he life.

Dayal stressed, however, that the incident has no bearing on Indo-US relations. "This is an aberration... a wrongful act of local officials," he said.

Batra suggested that Mayor Michael Bloomberg give Biswas "a key to the city" to "unruffle some of the ruffled feathers."


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Comment on this article

  • Jaimini P.B., Manipal,Sharjah

    Wed, May 25 2011

    Krittika Biswas should have filed a suit against School teacher/management and police dept.too. Real culprit chinese student has not been arrested.He must be laughing.Anyway,it is proved again and agian that Indians are at risk in White's place.

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  • Barbara bayer, Oman

    Wed, May 25 2011

    So sad for the girl Krittika Biswas. Due to the sheer callous ignorance of the foolish teacher, this young girl had to endure such a mental torture for no fault of hers. No amount compensated by the government can wipe out the agony and torture this young girl has gone through and would have to live with it for the rest of her life. I think she deserves more than 1.5 mn what she has filed for in her suit.

    Wishing Krittka Biswas success in her battle and all the best for her future…

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