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Murder trial to start into death of African student from LPU

punjab Updated: Mar 28, 2016 22:42 IST
Jatinder Kohli
Jatinder Kohli
Hindustan Times

A murder trial is to start into the July 2014 death of Burundi national and Lovely Professional University (LPU) student Yannick Nihangaza, who had been beaten into coma for 27 months.

Police have turned the attempt-to-murder case against all the accused to murder. A few days ago, Yannick’s father, Nestor Ntibateganya, emailed them the death certificate and medical report. Bumerec Hospital of Bujumbura (capital of the East African landlocked country of Burundi) has attached no autopsy certificate, though.

A few months ago, one of the accused had moved the Punjab and Haryana high court to seek the suspension of the 10-year sentence awarded by a lower court on October 24, 2013. When the high court sought case status from police, they contacted Burundi’s embassy in New Delhi to find about Yannick’s family and contact details. Police then contacted his father for documents.

Additional deputy commissioner of police (2) Amrik Singh Powar confirmed that murder section had been added to the case and fresh charge sheet would be filed against accused Sumit Ralhan, Sahildeep Singh, Amandeep Singh, Ramneet Singh Uppal, Harsh Gosai, Jaswant Singh, Amanbir Singh Bajwa, Jaskaran Singh Kalsi, and Rantaj Singh. “The medical report reveals the cause of death to be injuries suffered in the attack,” said Powar.

On October 24, 2013, a fast-track court here held Ralhan, Sahildeep, Amandeep, Uppal, Gosai, Jaswant, and Bajwa guilty of attempt to murder and sent them to the Kapurthala jail. Ramneet and Rantaj had already been declared proclaimed offenders. Main accused Ramneet, son of late superintendent of police Dharam Singh Uppal, had jumped parole and fled the country.

On the very next day of the attack, accused Kalsi had flown to Australia on a student visa. In September 2014, he was brought back from Sydney and sent to jail. On December 22 last year, he secured bail from a local court.


Case timeline

April 22, 2012: Three men hit Burundi national Yannick Nihangaza, first-year student of computer science at Lovely Professional University, with bottle and stones outside his rented house at Dashmesh Nagar near the Jalandhar bus stand when he was on his way to a birthday party

October 24, 2013: A fast-track court holds accused Sumit Ralhan, Sahildeep Singh, Amandeep Singh, Ramneet Singh Uppal, Harsh Gosai, Jaswant Singh, and Amanbir Singh Bajwa guilty of the attempt to murder and sends them to the Kapurthala jail; accused Jaskaran and Rantaj are declared proclaimed offenders

March-April 2014: Ramneet jumps parole and flees country on fake passport.

July 1, 2014: Yannick dies in Burundi after 27 months of being in coma

July 21, 2014: Police grill Punjabi singer Garry Sandhu about his alleged role in helping Ramneet flee

September 2014: Accused Jaskaran Singh Kalsi brought back from Sydney

December 22, 2015: Kalsi granted bail by a Jalandhar court.