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© Neena Bhandari, Indo Asian News Service

ImageSydney, Sep 30 (IANS) Prominent India-born doctor Mukesh Haikerwal, who was savagely beaten with a baseball bat and kicked by a gang in an alleged armed robbery attack Saturday night, is expected to make a full recovery.

Haikerwal, the former head of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), was allegedly attacked by a gang of six people - in their late teens to early 20s - who went on a one-hour rampage in Melbourne's Williamstown suburb, attacking four other people in a 5 km radius.

"It's callous, cowardly (and) it's a disgusting act and how anybody can go around beating somebody with a baseball bat - I don't understand that. Police will get the people concerned. I wish Mukesh and his family a speedy recovery,” State of Victoria's Premier John Brumby, who personally knows Haikerwal, told reporters Tuesday.

The 47-year-old doctor was hit on the head with the baseball bat and then repeatedly kicked as he lay on the ground near his home at the Dennis Reserve. He emerged from an induced coma Monday after undergoing emergency surgery to remove life-threatening blood clotting around his brain at the Western General Hospital.

Relieved that Haikerwal is expected to make a full recovery, his brother Deepak Haikerwal, told reporters: "Karyn, his wife, their sons, our mother and our family are quite upset, as you might imagine. Nothing can really prepare you to get the call that your brother, your husband, your father, your son, has been assaulted."

"He is lucid and he can move all his limbs. We are grateful for all the support we've received from everyone. It's humbling to be reminded of the respect for Mukesh by so many in the community,” Deepak told reporters.

A champion of public health, the 47-year-old doctor 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.

His shocked wife, Karyn, and their sons, Suresh, Ajaya and Jeevan, have been at his bedside as the police seek public help to identify the attackers.

"There were five significant incidents in public places, we are sure there are people out there with information that could assist our investigation and urge them to come forward," Detective Senior Sergeant Kieran Moloney told reporters.

India-born former Australian Medical Association head assaulted

Sydney, Sep 29 (IANS) India-born doctor and former Australian Medical Association (AMA) head Mukesh Haikerwal is recovering in hospital after being brutally assaulted and mugged in Melbourne, an attack that has shocked the country's medical authorities.

Haikerwal sustained serious head injury when he was assaulted at around 11 p.m. in Williamstown suburb of Melbourne on Saturday night.

He is recovering at the Western Hospital after undergoing an emergency surgery to remove blood clotting in his brain. The police are investigating the incident.

A champion of public health, the 47-year-old doctor 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.

"Mukesh is a very generous person and has readily given so much of his time, passion and commitment to improving patient care in Australia. He is admired by patients, colleagues, and policymakers alike," a shocked AMA president Rosanna Capolingua said.

"That a defenceless man going for a walk can be set upon so violently by other humans is shocking. He is in our hearts and prayers today and in the days ahead. We hope his recovery is swift and complete," Capolingua added.

Haikerwal was president of the AMA from 2005 to 2007. At Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's 2020 summit in Canberra recently, he lobbied for integration of information technology in healthcare.

Wishing Haikerwal a speedy recovery, Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said: "Mukesh is an extremely gentle and kind individual - it is difficult to imagine anyone less deserving of such a vicious attack. Our thoughts are with Mukesh's wife Karyn and their three sons, Suresh, Ajaya and Jeevan, at this extremely difficult time."

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

© Copyright Neena Bhandari. All rights reserved. Republication, copying or using information from any www.india-voice.com content is expressly prohibited without  the permission of the writer and the news agency through which the article is syndicated.


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