India Insight

Krittika Biswas: A series of unfortunate events

By Annie Banerji

With a $1.5 million lawsuit on the line, and the sympathy of the U.S.’s homeland security chief, the Indian media has made this 18-year-old’s unfortunate tale well known to its audience.

Krittika Biswas, daughter of an Indian diplomat in New York, says she was wrongfully accused of sending obscene and anti-Semitic e-mails to her teacher, handcuffed in school and detained with criminals overnight in February this year.

Even after she was cleared of all charges and her name omitted from the records, Biswas said her school sent her to a special suspension programme for more than a month.

Her lawyer stated that not only did her 24-hour arrest, of which neither her father nor the consulate general were informed, violate international, federal, state and city laws, but the whole harrowing experience caused the young girl mental trauma due to the conditions she was kept in.

Reports say Krittika was not provided with proper facilities for water or a toilet. But what has irked her supporters is that despite the discovery of the perpetrator, the New York Police Department and school authorities have apparently not taken any steps.

What were you doing on 9/11?

September 11, 2001 — I was at university attending a freshers’ welcome bash in New Delhi.

That was a time before cell phones had become affordable and news travelled slowly.

There were murmurs of an attack, something about the U.S. and a trade center but I didn’t pay much attention.

from FaithWorld:

GUESTVIEW: Mumbai violence brings New York faith groups together

The following is a guest contribution. Reuters is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are the author’s alone. Matthew Weiner, the author, is the Program Director at the Interfaith Center of New York. He is writing a book about Interfaith and Civil Society.

When terror attacks like those in Mumbai occur, many people of faith want to stand together despite their differences to condemn them with one voice. Faith leaders in New York, having seen their own city targetted in 2001, quickly responded with a show of support for their sister city in India. Their news conference on the steps of New York's City Hall on Monday was an example of how faith communities in the world's most religiously diverse metropolis can join hands to speak out against such violence. (Photo: New York interfaith meeting, 1 Dec 2008/Edwin E. Bobrow)

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, senior vice-president of the New York Board of Rabbis, Mo Razvi, a Pakistani-American Muslim and community organizer, and the Interfaith Center of New York organized the meeting while Councilman John Liu got the green light to use City Hall as the venue. Potasnick worked through Thanksgiving weekend to make it happen and insisted on having representatives from every faith. "It is very important to condemn the attacks...but it is imperative we stand together with one voice," he said.