Nestor Ntibateganya's 23-year-old son has been lying in a coma in a hospital in Patiala for over two months. Yannick Nihangaza suffered severe brain damage after he was stoned and severely beaten by a group of attackers in Jalandhar in April. But most of them are still at large, despite his father's repeated appeals to authorities.
Mr Ntibateganya, who is from Burundi, has written to the chief minister of Punjab asking for help - not once but twice. But all his appeals have gone unanswered so far. The helpless father has told NDTV that no government representative has got in touch with him yet. And it's not just the CM, the family has approached others as well, but sadly to no use. "We have knocked at every door and tried to get in touch with authorities. But no one has come forward to help us. We have had doors slammed in our faces," added Yannick's brother.
A first year B.Sc. Computers student at the Lovely Professional University, Yannick was on his way to a party in Jalandhar when he was attacked and left on the roadside. The exact reason for the attack is still not clear, but the Burundian envoy says the attackers mistook Yannick for a Congolese student who had fought with them earlier. Two people have been arrested by the Jalandhar Police in connection with the case. But there are at least five others who are missing, says his father.
Mr Ntibateganya wants all those who brutally attacked his son to be punished. He also 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 - doctors say he might never recover from the severe brain damage.
In his letter to CM Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Ntibateganya said, "I am writing to you as a father writing to another father, someone who has known and experienced love of a child. 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."
"Whenever you are with your own children, look at them and see my son Yannick who is dying here at such a tragically young age. Think of how you would feel if Yannick was one of your children in this condition and what you would be doing," he added in his appeal.