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Battered African in coma since April

Yannick, a student, has been in Patiala hospital since April 27; father’s cry for help falls on deaf ears.

punjab Updated: Jul 06, 2012 02:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Beaten to within an inch of his life in Jalandhar, an African student has been in a coma for more than two months and his father’s cries for help from the hospital bedside to the Punjab government have gone unanswered.

Burundi national Yannick Nihangaza, 23, a first year student of BSc computer science at Lovely Professional University, was hit with bottles and stones by three persons outside his rented house on April 21 night when he was walking to a birthday party.

According to the police, a minor scuffle had broken out between the attackers and Nihangaza and his friends near a liquor shop the same evening.

Police have arrested two of the suspected attackers, Sahil Deep Singh and Sumit Bunny, but the third, Aman Deep Singh (Sahil’s brother) is on the run. All three suspects are in their 20s.

“All my dreams are shattered. Forget his career, I am praying for his life,” Nihangaza’s father Nestor Ntibateganya said on Thursday.

He has been by his son’s side at Columbia Asia Hospital in Patiala since April 27 and written twice to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for help to fly him back to Burundi, pay for the medical care he is likely to need for the rest of his life and arrest the attackers. The government is yet to respond to his letters.

Ntibateganya, who runs a healthcare NGO in Burundi in east Africa, said, “There is nothing left here for the medical team to do for him. I am exhausted, both physically and emotionally.”

First Published: Jul 05, 2012 23:10 IST