The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday admitted a petition seeking enhancement of the 10-year jail sentence of seven convicts to life term in the case of murderous attack on African student Yannick Nihangaza, 23, in April 2012.
A national of Burundi and student of Lovely Professional University (LPU) near Jalandhar, Yannick breathed his last on July 1 after he had been flown back to his home country from a Patiala hospital on June 16, after remaining in coma for around two years since the attack.
A Jalandhar fast-track court had on October 24 last year sentenced seven youths to 10-year imprisonment after finding them guilty of attempt to murder; Yannick has since succumbed to the attack. These convicts are Sumit Ralhan (25); Sahildeep Singh (21) and his elder brother Amandeep Singh (24); Ramneet Singh Uppal (24); Harsh Gosai (24); Jaswant Singh (21); and Amanbir Singh Bajwa (25). Ramneet alias Romy, the son of former superintendent of police (SP) Dharam Singh Uppal, is at large after jumping parole.
The petition has been filed by deceased student’s father Nestor Ntibateganya, and would now come up for hearing as per turn.
Yannick was studying in BSc-1 (computers) at LPU at the time of the assault outside his rented accommodation in Dashmesh Nagar, Jalandhar. It was attributed to a trivial spat.
Yannick’s father has sought directions for quashing of the Jalandhar court’s judgment and punishing the accused with life sentence, submitting that they had committed a crime “which is even more brutal than killing someone”.