Punjab to Bear the Expenses of Airlifting Injured African Student

Chandigarh: The Punjab government said Sunday it will bear the expenses of airlifting an injured Burundian student to Delhi for his onward journey home. The young man is in coma since he was assaulted in the state in April.

A spokesman of the Punjab chief minister’s office said the state would arrange and pay for taking Yannick Nihangaza to New Delhi in an air-ambulance.

He said on the request of the student’s father, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had also agreed to pay the business class airfare for Yannick and his father to travel to a hospital in Rwanada in Africa.

Yannick, who was pursuing a B.Sc. in computers at Lovely Professional University near Jalandhar, was attacked by some young men April 21 in Jalandhar after an argument outside a liquor shop, 150 km from here.

The attackers left him seriously injured in and he is in coma since then. Doctors attending on him in a private hospital in Patiala, 80 km from here, said his chances of recovery are bleak due to irreversible brain damage.

After Yannick’s plight was highlighted by the media in July, police arrested five youth for their alleged involvement in the assault. One of the accused is the son of a senior Punjab Police officer.

As a goodwill gesture, Badal Sunday ordered to extend all possible legal and financial assistance to Yannick and his father.

Badal had earlier sanctioned Rs.500,000 to Yannick’s father for his son’s treatment.

“Badal assured Yannick’s father that all culprits involved in the crime would be punished as per the law of the land. He said a foolproof case has been registered and the public prosecutor has been asked to pursue the case vigorously for ensuring exemplary punishment to the culprits by the courts so that foreign students coming to state for pursuing higher studies feel safe and secure,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman said Badal had also given nod to bear the expenditure for Yannick’s medicines and treatment at the Columbia Asia Hospital.

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