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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

African student’s death: late SP’s parole-jumper son ‘fled country’

Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, July 06, 2014
First Published: 07:59 IST(6/7/2014) | Last Updated: 08:01 IST(6/7/2014)

Ramneet Singh Uppal “Romy” (24), convicted of murderous attack that left Burundi student Yannick Nihangaza comatose for two years until his death lately, is reported to have jumped parole and flown abroad between March and April.

On January 15, he had lost his father, superintendent of police Dharam Singh Uppal, to the stress of his involvement in the case. Top officers in the police commissionerate have ruled out the possibility but other sources confirm that Ramneet fled the country after attending the wedding of a close relative.

PAROLE BOND FORFEITED

On March 6, he came out on 28-day parole and failed to report back on April 4 in the Kapurthala jail. The district administration got an input that he had jumped parole and the police commissionerate had failed to catch him. In May, the administration forfeited his parole bond for Rs. 2 lakh.

The police authorities are also unaware about the arrest of Jaskaran Singh Kalsi “Jassa”, one of the proclaimed offenders in this case, in New South Wales, Australia.

HT has access to documents showing that Australian officer Andrews Aaron Charles had arrested the Indian driver under the Extradition Act of his country and an Australian court had denied him bail.

On March 18, an Australian Capital Territory magistrate had issued arrest warrants against Kalsi on behalf of India. “We don’t know if Ramneet is outside country but when he jumped parole in May, a case was registered,” said police commissioner Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, promising action against those who filed the parole bond and saying he had no clue about the arrest of Jassa in Australia.

‘SERIOUS HOW HE GOT PASSPORT’

“If Ramneet has fled the country, it is a serious matter how he secured the passport and visa, as he was sentenced to jail for 10 years along with six others in the Yannick case,” said the officer. The death of the Burundi student after more than two years of the attack here has increased the troubles of the accused. On June 16, a comatose Yannick was flown home to southeast Africa.

Seven youths got a 10-year jail sentence for attempt to murder; and now the Jalandhar police explore the legal possibilities of filing a fresh charge-sheet of murder. Yannick was one of the two African students whom local youth had attacked on April 21, 2012. He was moved to the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) here and, three days later, to Columbia Asia Hospital, a private facility in Patiala.

SEVEN WERE CONVICTED

Last October, a local fast track court held seven attackers (Sumit Ralhan, 25; Sahildeep Singh, 21; Amandeep Singh, 24; Ramneet Singh Uppal, 24; Harsh Gosai, 24; Jaswant Singh, 21; and Amanbir Singh Bajwa, 25) guilty of attempt to murder under Section 307 of the IPC. Sections 452 (house trespass after preparation for injuring or wrongful restraint), 323 (causing hurt voluntarily), 148 (armed riot), 120-B (criminal conspiracy); and 149 (unlawful assembly) were also applied before putting them in the Kapurthala jail.

Accused Jaskaran Singh and Rantaj Singh were declared proclaimed offenders. The former had flown to Australia on student visa after the incident.

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