After media spotlight on the brutal assault on a Burundi national Yannick Nihangaza, a student of a private university near Jalandhar, more than two months ago, city police on Saturday finally booked a son of a serving SP-ranked officer on charge of attempt to murder in the case.
Hours later, Romi Uppal surrendered before police and was formally arrested under Sections 307 and 452 of IPC. Uppal walked into police station number 7 and surrendered. He was taken into custody for further investigation in the case, Additional deputy commissioner of police (HQ) Navjot Mahal told Hindustan Times.
Asked why Romi was booked two months after the attack on the Burundi national on April 21, Mahal maintained that he was charged in the case since his mobile location indicated his presence in the area during assault. “However, whether he is actually involved in the assault is yet to be investigated, as he claimed in his statement that he arrived on the spot after the scuffle," Mahal added.
Mahal, who is investigating the case, earlier told that Romi Uppal, son of SP Dharam Singh Uppal who is posted in Nawanshahr, had been booked in the case. Mahal had claimed that police were working hard to trace the two absconding accused Romi and Amandeep Singh.
Police were till now maintaining that Romi was suspected to be involved in the assault on the basis of call records of his mobile phone, which indicated his presence in the area at the time of occurrence of the crime on April 21.
However, after Nestor Ntibateganya, father of Yannick Nihangaza (23), wrote a letter to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to demand justice, as well as deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal's instructions to police not to spare anybody in the case, police have been forced to act tough against all the accused.
Ntibateganya had alleged that more than three persons were involved in the attack on his son, though a case was registered against only three persons.
Yannick, a student of BSc computers first year was beaten up by unidentified persons outside his rented accommodation in Dashmesh Nagar on the intervening night of April 21, while he was celebrating the birthday of one of his compatriots Astro, also a student of the same varsity.
Since then, Yannick is battling for life at a private hospital in Patiala where he is in a coma.
An official spokesman told PTI that Punjab government would bear all the medical expenses incurred on Yannick Nihangaza and a cheque of Rs five lakhs which was sanctioned by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal would be delivered directly to hospital authorities in the morning by the deputy commissioner GK Singh after settling the account with them.
Meanwhile, Yannick's father Nestor Ntibateganya said here that they wanted to consult family back in Burnudi to shift Yannick from here.
He said that he and his nephew, a cardiologist who came from US on Friday, would visit PGI and meet doctors there.