New York: The ill-treatment meted out to Krittika Biswas, the daughter of Indian diplomat Debashish Biswas, by the New York City administration has angered the Indians living in both India and the US who view this as a case of racial discrimination.
According to reports, the Indian community has pledged its full support to Krittika and demanded justice for the 18-year-old student of John Bowne High School.
Krittika has sued New York city for a whopping USD 1.5 million, alleging that she was falsely arrested in violation of her diplomatic immunity, with the Indian consulate here also backing her claims.
Krittika, who is the daughter of Debashish Biswas, Vice Consul (Administration) at the Indian Consulate General here, filed a notice of claim on May 06.
She said her claims of diplomatic immunity were ignored when she was handcuffed and locked up for more than 24 hours on February 08 after a shoddy probe by administrators into alleged obscene e-mails sent to two teachers in her school.
Krittika recounted that she was handcuffed first by a policeman in her principal`s office, who was trying to force her to admit that she had sent the objectionable e-mails.
"He said if you say for second time that you did not do it, then I will put the handcuffs on you. Then, he actually put those on me, saying that I will end up in jail with prostitutes and drug dealers," said Krittika.
During her period of detention, she was also provided very poor facilities - an almost-open toilet and drinking water in which there was vomit.
Krittika said she was also not allowed to get in touch either with her family or contact the Indian consulate.
Even after the Queens District Attorney dropped the charges and expunged her arrest from the record, school officials sent the girl to an offsite suspension centre for more than a month, according to the claim.
It was only after principal Howard Kwait found the real perpetrator that Krittika was allowed back into the school.
"The basis for this targeted inquiry was as criminally malicious as it was reckless," Ravi Batra, Krittika`s lawyer, said at a news conference recently.
Batra also claimed that officers failed to read Biswas her rights and "continued to inquire about her computer usage".
Indian Consul General Prabhu Dayal said there was a difference in view on whether diplomatic community extends to dependents of diplomats.
"This is a matter that the two governments have to discuss - which interpretation of the Vienna Convention is correct.... India has taken the view all along that family members have immunity, while the US State Department is totally contrary," he told reporters.
Dayal added that due to the differing perception, going to courts was the only way to change it.
"There was nothing that could be done if the State Department is saying that (diplomatic immunity) does not extend to family (members), except to fight the matter in court and have a lawyer to do that.. and this is what we did," said the Indian Consul general.