A young New York-based Indian student Krittika Biswas – the 18 year old daughter of a diplomat -- was, wrongfully arrested, recently, on suspicion of having sent hate mail to her teachers. The school management at the John Bowne High School, Queens, New York, appears to have been extremely proactive in bringing in the police before they conducted a proper investigation.
She was taken away in handcuffs and spent 28 hours behind bars in violation of standard police procedure. She reported other ordeals and indignities while in lock up.
Krittika is the daughter of the Vice Counsel at the consulate general of India in Manhattan Debashish Biswas.
Though the confusion over the IP address of the hate mail was cleared and the real culprit – another student in the same school -- eventually confessed, the school bizarrely did not press revised charges with the police or suspend the student.
PTI quotes Krittika: "They based it (the arrest) on basically nothing,". She said that the school did not suspend or arrest the Chinese student who actually sent the emails. "I don't know why he wasn't arrested... the principal pushed for my arrest." She adds that a cop told her that if she didn't confess, she would have to spend time in prison with prostitutes and persons with HIV. "I was sitting there (school) with handcuffs on," she said. she was also interrogated before being read her rights, refused access to a bathroom
Krittika says says the school never apologised to her – not did NY Police. In fact Principal Howard Kwait who suspended Krittika, took another month to reinstate her – which is possibly why she has announced on May 25, that she is suing the city for $1.5 m in damages. Her lawyer Rajiv Batra said her arrest on 8 February was a violation of international law, US federal law as well as US state and city law. The New York Post quotes Batra: "It's stupid, it's criminally stupid, and it doesn't say much about our disciplinary system in the schools," said Batra. "The incompetence level that was functioning at John Bowne HS is beyond pathetic." The Internet Protocol address that indicate the origin of an email is proving to be a notoriously unreliable indication of real authorship. What is truly surprising in this case is the obvious unprofessionalism of the NY Police.. cyber crime investigation needs special skills as India has realised, when it set up special cyber police units in major cities. The vindictive actions of the school against one of their own students is of course, a separate, but deeply disturbing issue. Such attitudes are sadly there and aplenty, just below the surface – as the venomous reader comments at the foot of the story in the NY Post one of the city’s two tabloids. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/diplo_daughter_keyed_up_kgp3ZqKcEx9nVwPoD9g0aM Msy 25 2011