‘Love with all your heart, be kind’

Candles lit and balloons released at vigil for student after killing at university halls

Friday, 1st April — By Anna Lamche

Sabita Thanwani_pink balloons in Northampton Square

Friends, family and staff at City University watch as pink balloons are released in Northampton Square

PINK balloons were released and candles were lit to mark the death of a young woman killed in her university halls.

Sabita Thanwani, a first-year psychology student at City University, was pronounced dead at Arbour House in Clerkenwell on March 19.

Maher Maaroufe, 22, has been charged with her murder, appear­ing at the Old Bailey last week.

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of people gathered at the university’s Tait building for a “vigil against male violence,” with tributes to Ms Thanwani delivered by university staff and her family and friends.

Sabita Thanwani died last month

People wore pink because it was Sabita’s favourite colour, according to one of the vigil’s organisers Rhian Soulsby-Cole, who added: “You could always spot her on a night out by who was the pinkest in the room.”

In the public square outside the university, candles were lit and the balloons were released.

The gathering had been told by speakers that Ms Thanwani had the “natural power to make people smile,” with one student describing her as one of the “strongest and most independent women that I know.”

Ms Thanwani’s family said they were very touched by the response to her death, urging those present to learn lessons from Sabita’s life: “Love with all your heart, be generous, and above all, be kind.”

As the vigil came to a close, attendees were urged “learn something new about someone in your life, whether that be a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger,” so that “we never feel the feeling of losing someone that we should have known better.”

The Tribune will be hosting an open debate on how to tackle violence against women and girls next month. Details released soon.

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