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Indian diplomat's daughter sues NYC

Last updated: 25 May, 2011
New York, May 25, Agencies: 22:26 IST

An Indian diplomats daughter is suing New York city for a whopping $1.5 million for what she claims was a wongful arrest on the suspicion of sending obscene e-mails to her teacher at Queens John Browne High School.

Krittika Biswas, daughter of Debashish Biswas, vice-counsel at the Indian Consulate General in Manhattan, also claims that she was ill-treated in the prison.Krittika 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,” She said, referring to a small toilet that was in the cell occupied by other persons. Krittika’s lawyer Ravi Batra said her arrest and more than 24-hour detainment on February 8 were a violation of international, federal as well as state and city laws.

Batra said neither the girl’s father nor the Consulate General of India Prabhu Dayal were informed about the arrest.

Culprit let off

It soon emerged that Krittika did not send the e-mails 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 said, adding that the school did not suspend or arrested the Chinese student who actually sent the e-mails. “I don’t know why he wasn’t arrested... the principal pushed for my arrest,” she said. Biswas said 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 e-mail seeking a response.

Batra lashed out at Principal Howard Kwait and the teacher Jamie Kim Ross, who was the recipient of the e-mails. “They did not do the due diligence before getting her arrested,” he said. “They were dead wrong.”

Biswas 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.Consulate General of India Prabhu Dayal said Biswas 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, however, stressed 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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