• Friday, December 09, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

British Indian teenager murdered in London’s student flat

Sabita Thanwani (Photo: Met Police)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

SCOTLAND YARD have arrested a Tunisian national on suspicion of the murder and assault of a British woman of Indian origin in her student accommodation in London.

Sabita Thanwani, 19, was found with serious injuries to her neck at Arbour House student flats in the Clerkenwell area of London on Saturday (19).

The Metropolitan Police issued an urgent appeal for a 22-year-old man, Maher Maaroufe, who they said had been in a relationship with Thanwani. The suspect was eventually arrested on Sunday (20) around the same area of Clerkenwell where the victim’s body was discovered a day before.

Maaroufe has links across London and Cambridgeshire, Mail Online said and quoted the police as saying he shaved off his beard and head after his CCTV image was released.

Security is said to be lax at the student accommodation where Thanwani, believed to be a first-year psychology student, lived.

I would like to thank everyone for publicising and sharing our appeal to trace Maaroufe,” said detective chief inspector Linda Bradley, from the Met Police Specialist Crime unit who is leading the investigation.

Sabita’s family have been updated with this development and continue to be supported by specially trained officers. Our deepest condolences are with them. I would ask everyone to respect their privacy at this indescribably devastating time for them as they come to terms with Sabita’s murder,” she said.

Maaroufe had been in a relationship with Sabita but he was not a student. He is a Tunisian national of no fixed address,” Bradley said.

Thanwani was studying at City, University of London, and was reportedly seen with Maaroufe on Friday (18).

As this remains an ongoing police incident, we are unable to comment on their investigation,” said a spokesperson for Unite Students, which operates the Arbour House student accommodation.

Our priority at this time is the safety and wellbeing of students at Arbour House. We are working closely with the police and City, University of London,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for City, University of London, also said it was working closely with Unite Students.

As a university, we will do everything we can to support our students and staff and we will continue to fully support the police with their investigation,” a university spokesperson said.

Thanwani’s neighbour Arsh Srivastava, who is a business student, said the teenager lived on the sixth floor of the building.

I heard a voice that sounded like a grown man. I heard the fire alarm go off and I heard someone running out of a back ground floor exit near where I live. I thought it was the suspect”, Srivastava told Mail Online.

After that, the police showed up around half an hour later. They have been investigating ever since. I heard them talking about someone trying to escape through the hallway door”.

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