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. 

"/> 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. 

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CRIME

Metro hero’s family hopes for Indian funeral

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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POLICE

France vows to tackle motorbike ‘rodeos’ after children injured

The French government has pledged a new crackdown against illicit motorbike cruising by youths in suburbs across the country, after two children were seriously injured by a rider near Paris.

France vows to tackle motorbike 'rodeos' after children injured

The rowdy late-night races and stunts known as “rodeos” have become increasingly popular in particular in low-income neighbourhoods, leading to complaints about traffic and noise from local officials and many residents.

On Friday evening, a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy were hit by a rider while playing tag outside their home in Pontoise, northwest of the capital.

French daily Le Figaro reported on Monday that the girl suffered a blow to the head and remained in serious condition in hospital, while the boy had a broken leg.

The accident came after a 19-year-old man was killed in June after being hit by a bike rider in the western city of Rennes.

“I have asked the police to step up their interventions this month,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said in the southern city of Marseille.

Nonetheless the rodeos are often tolerated or defended as a gritty urban subculture that provides an outlet for disaffected youths, with an upcoming film, “Rodeo”, that appears to glorify the gatherings and  generated a strong buzz at the Cannes film festival last May.

Police have carried out 8,000 operations to break up rodeos in the past two months, leading to 1,200 arrests and the seizure of around 700 motorbikes and other vehicles including all-terrain “quads”.

In 2018, parliament passed a law increasing penalties for the riders to up to five years in prison.

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