African in coma: Father complains against university


Patiala: The father of Yannick Nihangaza, the African youth who is in coma for over two months at a hospital here after being beaten up in a Punjab city, has complained to Patiala deputy commissioner that Lovely Professional University where his son studied had refused to help him.

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Nestor Ntibateganya, a Burundian national, said in his complaint that the university authorities, who had assured to take care of all African students coming to study at the campus near Jalandhar, had shunned their responsibility when he sought help for his son’s treatment and to get the attackers arrested.

The university campus, located near Jalandhar city, is 150 km from state capital Chandigarh.

Lovely Professional University (LPU) is a leading private university where many Africans and students from other nationalities study.

Nestor said LPU authorities failed to do anything for his injured son.

Patiala Deputy Commissioner G.K. Singh said he had received the complaint against the university and would forward it to higher authorities in Chandigarh.

He said LPU had not even informed the Patiala administration about the student’s condition and his treatment at the private Columbia Asia Hospital.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had Friday announced immediate cash assistance of Rs.500,000 for Yannick.

Yannick suffered irreversible brain damage after he was mercilessly beaten up and stoned by some youths in Jalandhar April 21.

One of the attackers, Romi Uppal, is the son of a senior Punjab Police officer. He was absconding for over two months and surrendered Saturday after media reported Yannicka’s story.

Two other youths, Bunny Ralhan and Sahildeep, were arrested earlier. Uppal was Sunday remanded to police custody for two days by a Jalandhar court.

Doctors here have said that chances of Yannick’s recovery are remote even though plans are afoot to shift him to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh for treatment.

Yannick, who was pursuing a B.Sc. degree in computers, was attacked after an argument with some youth outside a liquor shop close to his rented accommodation, police said.

His father, who arrived in India April 29 after being told about his son’s condition, brought him to Patiala for treatment.

Nestor Sunday thanked the chief minister for the financial assistance.