Stabbed Indian cabbie recovering in Melbourne, attacker in custody (Lead)July 28th, 2008 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS
By Neena Bhandari
Sydney, July 28 (IANS) As Indian overseas student Jalvinder Singh recovers from the near fatal injuries inflicted on him while working as a part-time taxi driver in Melbourne, the man charged with attempted murder for the attack on Singh in April has been remanded in custody and is to reappear in court in December. The 23-year-old Indian is still recuperating at home three months on.
“I am feeling better, but I’m still unable to resume my studies. I have to see the neurosurgeon again next month,” Singh told IANS.
A hospitality student at Melbourne’s Carrick Institute of Education, Singh said: “I am really sad to have lost almost an entire year of study.”
Meanwhile, his attacker, 45-year-old Parish Charles, who hasn’t applied for bail, has been remanded in custody by the Melbourne Magistrates Court and asked to reappear Dec 8 for a committal hearing, which is expected to last five days, reports The Age newspaper.
Charles is facing seven charges including attempted murder, intentionally and recklessly causing serious injury, assault and car theft.
Singh was found by a passerby in a critical condition, covered in blood with multiple stab wounds to the upper body, in the Clifton Hill suburb of Melbourne in the early hours of April 30. His taxi was found a short distance away smashed into a street sign.
Singh’s recovery was described by doctors at the Royal Melbourne Hospital as “miraculous” after his heart had stopped for more than 10 minutes on the operating table and he was kept in an induced coma for nearly a week.
Singh’s stabbing sparked an unprecedented protest by cab drivers, mostly from the sub-continent, who brought Melbourne’s central business district to a standstill and compelled the state government to install safety screens for drivers.
Earlier, calls for more security for Melbourne taxi drivers from violent passengers were intensified when in December last year, another taxi driver of Indian origin had sustained stab wounds inflicted by a fare-evading passenger.
Baljinder Singh, 25, had told News Corporation reporters: “I don’t think that I will drive cabs (again). I’m not scared but there’s always a risk to your life”.
In August 2006, 27-year-old part-time taxi driver, Rajneesh Joga, was killed when a 20-year-old man tried to hijack his taxi pushing him out of the moving vehicle. Joga, who hailed from Hyderabad, was doing his Master of Accountancy at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
There are about 12,000 Indian overseas students enrolled in various universities in Melbourne and many of them drive taxis part-time to support themselves and meet the increasing cost of living.