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Govt mulls honour for NRI who died fighting muggers
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 31
Days after a UK-based NRI died of stab wounds after being attacked by the muggers he was chasing in east London, the government is considering a suitable honour for the braveheart and some compensation for his widow, who lives in Punjab.

The matter, it is learnt, was recently discussed at the highest level, with the initiative coming from Union Sports Minister MS Gill, a Rajya Sabha member from Punjab. Gill, who first raised the issue, has already summoned the personal records of Sukhwinder Singh, the 31-year-old Sikh, who won several hearts in Britain for his act of bravery.

Sukhwinder died confronting two men who were running away after snatching a lady’s purse outside Barking station in east London. The death earned Singh the label of a hero, with metropolitan police describing him as one. He was recently cremated in his native town of Khanna in Ludhiana, where his only survivors -- wife Sandeep Kaur and a son -- now live.

After discussing the matter at the required level, Gill, it is learnt, has forwarded a proposal to Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, asking him to honour Singh’s act of courage and financially compensate his widow and son, who were solely dependent on the deceased for their living.

Ravi is said to have asked for the proposal, which details the need to recognise the courage of Sukhwinder, especially after the UK had done so. It also stresses the need to send a firm message across to the West of India’s solidarity with the cause of NRIs, who were recently promised voting rights by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The proposal is based on the family record of Sukhwinder, which Gill summoned from Ludhiana DC Vikas Garg. A builder back in London, he died on January 8 at the Royal London Hospital after succumbing to stab wounds.



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