India assures Burundi of help for African youth in coma (Second Lead)

July 6th, 2012 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Patiala, July 6 (IANS) India Friday assured Burundi’s ambassador of all possible assistance for a 23-year-old student from the east African country lying in coma after being beaten up in Jalandhar in Punjab in April.

The ambassador met Secretary (West) in India’s External Affairs Ministry M. Ganapathi and took up the case of Yannick Nihangaza.

Ganapathi assured the envoy that India would do everything possible to provide assistance, said official sources in New Delhi.

The ministry also said it had written to the Punjab government about the case, said sources.

Meanwhile, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal Friday told the police to arrest all people involved in attacking Nihangaza.

Badal also told Punjab Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh to get in touch with Nestor Ntibateganya, the youth’s father, to know his requirements and extend all possible medical and financial help.

Talking to the media in Jalandhar city, 150 km from here, Badal said he had also directed the Jalandhar Commissioner of Police Gaurav Yadav “to expedite the hunt for remaining accused in the case and spare no guilty in the case, whosoever he may be”.

Yannick suffered irreversible brain damage after he was mercilessly beaten and stoned by some youths in Jalandhar April 21.

Chances of his recovery are remote, say doctors.

Yannick, who is pursuing a B.Sc. degree in computers from Lovely Professional University near Jalandhar, was beaten up after an argument with some youth outside a liquor shop close to his rented accommodation, police said. He was rushed to hospital by passers-by.

His father, who arrived in India April 29 after being told about his son’s condition, brought him to Patiala, 80 km from here, for treatment at the Columbia Asia Hospital.

Yadav told Badal that Jalandhar police had arrested two of the accused and filed a chargesheet against them but the three other accused were absconding.

An eyewitness had told the police the registration number of the vehicle used by the attackers, following which Bunny Ralhan and Sahildeep were arrested.

Yannick’s father has pleaded to the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for help.

He has written two letters to the chief minister seeking justice and financial help for his son’s treatment and taking him back to Burundi.

“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 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 attackers 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.

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