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Indian killed by London muggers a 'hero': Police

The growing scourge of knife-crime has claimed an Indian life in the British capital after a builder who confronted two fleeing muggers was stabbed to death.

world Updated: Jan 10, 2010 21:24 IST

The growing scourge of knife-crime has claimed an Indian life in the British capital after a builder who confronted two fleeing muggers was stabbed to death.

The Sikh man who fought with the muggers after seeing them snatch a woman's handbag in London was described as “a hero” by British police.

Sukhwinder Singh, 31, was stabbed to death Friday night when he chased the muggers after seeing them attack the 28-year-old woman in Barking, an east London suburb.

After pursuing the two men along several residential streets, Singh caught up with the pair and a fight broke out, during which he was fatally wounded.

The father of one, who died in hospital, was described by police as “a hero who had lost his life bravely trying to prevent more crime being committed in his community”.

Singh, also known as Bittu, was an Indian national who had lived in London for the past 10 years with cousins in Barking, local reports said.

Police are appealing for information on his killers, who are described as black men in their 20s or 30s.

Local government councillor Nirmal Singh Gill said: “He was very well known in the Sikh community and everyone is very shocked. It's a very big loss to everyone, both here and in India."

Detective Inspector John Sandlin said: "What Mr Singh did was obviously very brave but I would not encourage that members of the public do that. What I would encourage the public to do is contact us immediately."

A 2008 survey estimated that 400 knife crimes are committed in England and Wales every week. East London is known to be a knife-crime hotspot.

Government figures also show that 375,000 people were mugged in England and Wales last year - or one every 90 seconds.