An Indian diplomat’s daughter has sued New York City’s government for “wrongful arrest”, a charge that could spark a row between India and the US on diplomatic immunity and privileges.
Krittika Biswas, daughter of Debashish Biswas, Vice Consul at the Indian Consulate in Manhattan, has filed a $1.5 million suit claiming wrongful arrest on suspicion that she sent obscene e-mails to her teacher in John Browne High School in Queens.
Her lawyer Rajiv Batra has said that Krittika, 18, had diplomatic immunity; US officials have argued that immunity for consulate officials is different from those at an embassy.
Sources said India plans to re-assess the immunity and privileges enjoyed by US diplomats and their families in India. This is the third incident of Indian diplomats facing action in the US over the past year.
Batra said Krittika’s arrest on February 8 violated international, federal, state and city law. Neither Debashish Biswas nor Consulate General Prabhu Dayal were informed, he said.
While Krittika was picked up from school, Biswas reportedly came to know about the arrest at 11 pm. Subsequently, Dayal, the Embassy and the MEA lodged separate protests.
It later emerged that Krittika did not send the e-mails and the school authorities eventually allowed her back. “They based it (the arrest) on basically nothing,” she said.