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Bollywood Star Attacked In Paris In Copycat Kardashian Robbery

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Photo: George Pimentel/amfAR16/WireImage
A Bollywood actor and model was attacked by three masked assailants outside her apartment block in Paris on Thursday, according to police.

Mallika Sherawat and an unidentified male partner were punched, tear gassed and robbed just weeks after Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in a similar attack in the French capital.

The incident allegedly took place when Sherawat and the man arrived at her apartment block in Paris's 16th arrondissement at 9.40pm, The Telegraph reported.

The attackers' faces were reportedly covered with scarves and "without saying a word, sprayed their victims with tear gas before punching them", reported Le Parisien, the city's daily newspaper.

The assailants then fled the scene before Sherawat and her fellow victim called the emergency services.

The police have launched a criminal investigation and are treating the case as an attempted robbery.

Sherawat, whose real name is Reema Lamba, has a history of speaking out against attacks on women in India, her home country, including gang rapes and honour killings.

She called the country "regressive for women" two years ago. Describing her experience of flitting between India and Los Angeles for work, she said that after the "social freedom" of LA, "when I go back to India, which is so regressive for women, it’s depressing. As an independent women, it’s really depressing," reported The Telegraph.

She has also discussed women's rights in India at the United Nations, telling the 65th UN DPI/NGO Conference in 2014 that "every minute we do nothing, there is a woman suffering abuse in India. They do not have the luxury of time.”

She also said Indian men had a part to play in helping women, adding: “India cannot realise its full potential if women do not rise along. Men have to be part of the solution. We cannot leave men behind. Both men and women are in this together… This creates true empowerment when everyone gets an equal chance."

After the international media storm surrounding Kardashian's robbery, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, took the opportunity to reassure celebrities and tourists that the city was safe, adding that Kardashian "will always be welcome in Paris".

Tourism in Paris has declined significantly in the last year, after the terrorist attacks of November 2015 left 130 people dead. Hopefully Sherawat's attack won't make tourists re-think their plans to visit the city yet again.
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