Indian diplomat's daughter sues New York, claims false arrest

NEW YORK Thu May 10, 2012 6:20am IST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Krittika Biswas, the teenage daughter of an Indian diplomat who says she was wrongfully arrested and falsely accused of sending threatening emails to two of her New York City teachers, has sued the city for $1.5 million claiming civil rights violations.

Biswas, the daughter of the vice-consul in the Consulate General of India in New York, was arrested and jailed for a night last year after gym and calculus teachers at her high school accused her of sending lewd and violent emails.

The next day, Biswas was suspended from John Bowne High School in the New York borough of Queens and compelled to attend classes at "an alternate location without an applicable enriched academic program, and more akin to 'reform school,'" according to the lawsuit.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown dropped all charges against Biswas, who was 18 at the time, and ordered the records from the case sealed. A spokeswoman for Brown declined to comment because the case is sealed.

Biswas has denied sending the messages and her lawyer described the case as one of "mistaken identity."

A representative at the high school declined to comment, and one of the teachers involved in the incident, Jamie Kim-Ross, could not be reached for comment.

Biswas claimed diplomatic immunity. But the U.S. State Department said she "does not enjoy immunity from arrest or from criminal or civil jurisdiction under international law."

"We sympathize with Ms. Biswas and her family. We have no comment on this ongoing litigation," State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson said in a statement.

Biswas returned to India, where she holds citizenship, and has continued her studies there.

The lawsuit names Kim-Ross, as well as the principal at John Bowne High School, the city Department of Education, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and others. The second teacher was not identified by name.

A spokeswoman from the city's law department declined to comment on the case because she said the city had not yet been served with the lawsuit.

(Additional reporting By Basil Katz; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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