Yannick before his attack, and now in hospital
On June 25, a man named Nestor Ntibateganya wrote to the chief minister of Punjab, describing the condition of his son, who lies in a coma in a hospital in Patiala. "I am writing to you as a father writing to another father, someone who has known and experienced love of a child," the man from Burundi wrote. "In a country that I believe to be a civilized one, and where the laws of this land should be respected and evil be punished...the killers who stoned my wholly innocent son and left him for dead are known and still free." (Read the full letter here
Two months before that, on April 22, Yannick Nihangaza, 23, was walking to a party in Jalandhar. He was enrolled as a student of B.Sc. Computers, First Year, at the Lovely Professional University.
For reasons not clear, he was attacked and stoned, severely beaten and left on the roadside. Strangers took him to hospital. Two people have been arrested by the Jalandhar Police; there are others who are missing.
The Burundian envoy to India told NDTV that the attackers mistook Yannick for a Congolese student who had fought with them earlier.
His father has written to the chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal, twice, asking for help. He wants the others who irreversibly damaged his son's brain with their repeated beatings to be punished. And he wants the government to help fly Yannick back to Burundi and pay for the medical attention he is likely to need for the rest of his life. Two letters, both unanswered.
Those who know the family point out that Yannick, a young man "who survived the Burundian genocide and 13-year civil war, came to India to pursue his studies and instead has had his life snuffed out."
My son will have "massive physical and neurological deficits for the rest of his life if he's lucky to wake up," writes Yannick's father.