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African student attack not racist: Burundi envoy

CNN-IBN
Jul 06, 2012 at 09:22pm IST

Jalandhar/New Delhi: Beaten mercilessly in Punjab, an African student has been lying in coma for three months. The incident has put a question mark on India's track record of dealing with African students.

However, reacting to the incident, the envoy of Burundi has said that it is a criminal case and not a racist attack.

Yannik, a 23-year-old boy from Burundi was a student of the Lovely University in Punjab. He was beaten up severely by a group of boys on April 21, following which has been in a state of come in a Jalandhar hospital.

The trauma of the victim's father has been made worse by the official indifference to his son's plight. He has written two letters to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal seeking financial and emotional support, but they have gone unanswered.

He has also written to the Ministry of External Affairs for help. The ministry, reacting to the media reports, said on Friday that they were in touch with the authorities.

The ministry said, "We have received a letter from the boy's father and have taken note of it. We are in touch with the Burundi mission. We are also in touch with the Punjab government and the RPO in Punjab."

Meanwhile, though two people have been arrested for assaulting Yannik, his father says there are others who are still free.

However, in what comes as a relief for India in the incident, Burundi envoy Rubuka Aloys has said that it does not appear to be a racist attack, and can happen anywhere.

"It is not a racists attack till the police say it is a racist attack. To me, it is a criminal case. It can happen everywhere…I hope justice will be done," said the envoy.

He, however, added that the victim's father needs legal and financial assistance from the government.

"We don't know what the Punjab government is doing. We have to analyse what the Indian government is doing…the main duty of the government is to bring justice," said Aloys.

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