India-born doctor’s teenage attackers charged in Australia

October 25th, 2008 - 12:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Oct 25 (IANS) Three teenagers have been charged with the savage bashing of India-born doctor and former head of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Mukesh Haikerwal and a spate of attacks on four other people in Melbourne’s Williamstown suburb last month. The much respected doctor was said to have been attacked by a gang of people aged between 17 and 21, of medium-build and Caucasian-looking, who went on an one-hour rampage, attacking four other people in a five-km radius on the night of Sep 27.

The 47-year-old doctor was hit on the head with a baseball bat and then repeatedly kicked as he lay on the ground near his home at the Dennis Reserve.

Two 19-year-olds, Michael Baltatzis and Sean Gabriel, and a 16-year-old boy faced an out of sessions court at Broadmeadows Saturday morning in relation to the attacks, reports the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

Baltatzis is facing 10 charges of armed robbery and intentionally causing serious injury, and Gabriel and the 16-year-old are facing six charges of armed robbery and intentionally causing serious injury, reports AAP.

The three were remanded in custody and will appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and a Childrens’ Court Monday.

Meanwhile, Haikerwal has almost made full recovery after being placed in an induced coma and undergoing emergency surgery to remove life-threatening blood clots from around his brain.

A champion of public health, Haikerwal is a member of the Australian government’s National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission and chair of the World Medical Association Finance and Planning Committee.

Haikerwal was born in Lucknow, but grew up in Britain. In 1990, he moved to Australia and set up a medical general practice in Melbourne’s western suburbs, where he still works.

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