Regarding Indian Government Protest Over Diplomatic Immunity

Taken Question
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 16, 2011

Question: [Regarding the February 8, 2011 detention of Ms. Krittika Biswas, daughter of Vice Consul, Indian Consulate General in New York], did State Department receive any official protest from the Indian Government?

Answer: Yes. The Indian Consulate General in New York sent a diplomatic note on February 9 asserting that Ms. Biswas’s arrest was a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

The Indian Embassy also “lodge[d] a strong protest” of the arrest and detention of Ms. Biswas in a diplomatic note on April 13, when it advised the Department that the charges against Ms. Biswas had been withdrawn and her suspension from school had been withdrawn and expunged.

We have the utmost respect for India’s diplomatic and consular personnel and the tremendous work that they are doing in support of U.S.-Indian relations.

We value our partnership with India and attach great importance to the presence of Indian diplomatic and consular representatives in the United States, and we sympathize with Ms. Biswas and her family.

The family member of a consular officer, such as Ms. Biswas, does not enjoy immunity from arrest or from criminal or civil jurisdiction under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

PRN: 2011/977