India’s media erupted with indignation today over the case of Krittika Biswas, the daughter of an Indian diplomat serving at the Indian Consulate General in Manhattan, who claims she was wrongfully arrested after being falsely accused of sending obscene emails to her school teacher, according to reports. The 18-year-old was reportedly kept in custody for more than 24 hours on Feb. 8 and also was sent for more than a month to a special suspension program by her school despite being cleared by investigators. She filed a notice of claim May 6 saying that she is suing New York City, among others, for $1.5 million.
Ms. Biswas had reportedly tried to claim diplomatic immunity. But a U.S. State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, was quoted by NDTV as saying that the immunity does not extend to family members of diplomats. A spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in New Delhi said in an emailed statement: “We are aware of press reporting regarding filing of a lawsuit by the daughter of an Indian consular officer. However we have no comment on this ongoing litigation.”
The Deccan Herald reported that Krittika felt ill-treated in custody, saying: “Krittika alleged that she was not allowed to use the bathroom for a long-time”. It added some other unsavory details, “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.” In addition to the lawsuit, the girl’s lawyer also suggested that the City’s mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, give her a key to the freedom of the city. But Mr. Bloomberg seemed unlikely to grant the request, according to The New York Post (which, like The Wall Street Journal, is owned by News Corp.)