Battered to near death by some local youths, a 23-year-old student from the east African country of Burundi has been lying in coma in a private hospital in Punjab since April. His distraught father has pleaded to the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for help.
Yannick Nihangaza suffered irreversible brain damage after he was mercilessly beaten and stoned by some youths in Jalandhar city, around 150 km from here, on April 22. Chances of his recovery are remote, according to doctors.
Yannick, who is pursuing a B.Sc. degree in computers from the Lovely Professional University near Jalandhar, was beaten up after an argument with his attackers outside a liquor shop close to his rented accommodation, police said. He was rushed to hospital by passers-by.
An eyewitness later told police the registration number of the vehicle used by the perpetrators, following which two youths – Bunny Ralhan and Sahildeep – were arrested but three others are still absconding.
Superintendent of Police N.S. Mahal said they were trying to establish identity of the other accused.
Yannick’s father Nector Ntibateganya has written two letters to the chief minister seeking justice and financial help for his son’s treatment and taking him back to Burundi.
Ntibateganya got his son shifted from Jalandhar to Patiala for treatment after arriving in India April 29.
“I have written two letters to the Punjab chief minister seeking help for my son. I want justice for him. Perpetrators should be arrested and punished. I am yet to get any response to my plea,” Ntibateganya told IANS outside the Columbia Asia hospital where his son is admitted.
“In a country that I believe to be a civilised one… I have been deeply troubled by the fact that the people who stoned my innocent son and left him for dead, are still free,” Ntibateganya wrote in the letter to Badal.
He alleged that police failed to take action against the assaulters as they belonged to influential families.
The victim’s father is also worried that the private hospital where Yannick is admitted will hand over a hefty bill to him.
“I want to take him back to my country. I request that I be helped to take him back and also be given the cost of his treatment,” Ntibateganya said.