Came to Punjab with a dream, African boy to go back in coma

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: May 31, 2014 11:23 IST

Yannick Nihangaza has been in coma for two years now, fighting for his life at a private hospital after some youths assaulted him in Jalandhar where he was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Lovely Professional University.

The young man from Burundi in Africa will now be airlifted to his country as the Punjab government has agreed to bear the cost, Rs 75 lakh.

Having arrived in India with the dream of becoming a computer engineer, he remains on life-support (ventilator) system.

His father Nestor Ntibateganya, who has been in India to take care of Yannick, is in trauma as he has exhausted his resources in shuttling between offices to get help.Yannick was attacked when he was going for a party on April 22, 2012.

Seven of the nine attackers, who were students, have already been sentences to 10 years’ jail, while the remaining reportedly fled to Australia.

As the case was highlighted by the media and was seen as having racial overtones, the Punjab government promised to airlift Yannick apart from bearing all expenses of his medical aid.

Deputy commissioner Priyank Bharti on Thursday informed the victim’s father that the government has finally arranged an air ambulance and Yannick would be taken from the Patiala Civil Aviation Club for his journey to Brumic Medical and Research Centre, Burundi.

The date is not final. “Yannick will be sent to his home country in the next few days, as per advice of doctors,” informed the DC.

Nestor thanked the DC, and narrated how his dreams were shattered.

“I sent my son to this country to study. He was a harmless, great child and outstanding student who was constantly busy learning the skills needed for his future... He was not out on the street to learn how to kill, steal or do other kind of evil like that done to him by these killers who are the citizens of your great nation,” he had written chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on June 20, 2012.

“I am writing to you as a father writing to another father, someone who has known and experienced love of a child and has given care and love to other human beings like you,” he had said, after which Badal announced to bear all medical expenses of Yannick.

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