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Metro hero's family hopes for Indian funeral

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14:45 CEST+02:00

Friends of a 33-year-old Indian man who died when he tried to protect a woman who was being mugged on a Paris metro train are trying to raise money to send his body back to India for a funeral. 

The story of the brave man's fatal struggle with the mugger led to a wave of outrage and sympathy online when the story appeared on Friday. 

On Thursday evening, around 8.30pm, Rajinder Singh saw a woman being mugged for her iPhone by another passenger. He stepped in to help and became involved in a fight with the attacker. 

The two left the train at the Crimée station on line 7, in the north east of the city, where they continued to struggle. Singh then fell off the platform and onto the tracks where he was electrocuted and died instantly. The mugger fled the scene and is still being hunted by police

News of the story on Friday led to hundreds of comments in support of the man. On Tuesday, newspaper Le Parisien reported more details about him.

Singh was born in 1978 in the northwest Punjab state of India which borders Pakistan. His cousin told the newspaper that he left seven years ago to travel to Europe to earn money to help the family. He came to Paris and got a job delivering pizzas.

Four years ago he met his girlfriend, Vimla, while commuting.

"They both took the same line at the same time to go to work," said his girlfriend's sister, Malini. "After a few months, Rajinder spoke to her. Last year, they moved together into a little apartment in Drancy."

"He worked non-stop, even at weekends. His only worry was earning enough money to be independent and to help his family in India," she said. "He was kindness personified," added her husband.

Singh's mother wants her son's body to be repatriated to India to "hug him for the last time" and to have a traditional funeral. His friends are trying to find the €5,000 ($6,600) costs.

Newspaper readers offered money and sympathy as the story went online on Tuesday. "Here is a man with high values who has left us too soon," wrote one. 

See also: Metro death suspect held by Paris police

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