Krittika Biswas, the diplomatic-immunity-invoking 18-year-old daughter of the Indian Consulate General who was wrongly arrested and detained for longer than 24 hours for sending offensive emails to her teacher, is suing her accusers, the school, and the city for $1.5 million. As unusual and outlandish as her story is, there are also deeper questions of race, class, and diplomacy woven into the incident that have kept the story simmering across the globe. Two official complaints were lodged against the United States by India, despite the assurance of a State Department official last month claiming, "The US-Indian relationship…has never been stronger," shortly after denying that family members of consular officers have diplomatic immunity.
Biswas's complaint [pdf], filed by her attorney Ravi Batra, is blistering not only for its accusation that the NYPD failed to Mirandize her or allow her to use the bathroom, and held her for hours without notifying her family; but for its accusations of Biswas's teacher's "favoritism of students of the Oriental-Asian ethnic background," and the "race/ethnicity based discrimination" levied against Biswas in her Calculus class. Batra also puzzled reporters by asking that Mayor Bloomberg give his client a key to the city "to unruffle some of the ruffled feathers."
The math teacher, Jamie Kim-Ross, apparently saw messages on Biswas's Facebook account that the complaint calls "at worst, critical of Kim-Ross as a teacher," and concluded that she was the one that sent the emails to her. A link to a bogus IP address was all Kim-Ross needed and she pressed criminal charges against Biswas, who repeatedly invoked diplomatic immunity to her accusers. Shang Ming, the student who later confessed to writing the emails, was suspended, and because he was not charged criminally, it was evidence of Kim-Ross' "ethnicity based discrimination." The city refuses to comment on the lawsuit.