September 28, 2013 10:30 pm

Victims of violence remembered at Maple Batalia vigil

Saturday marks the second anniversary of the murder of aspiring doctor and model Maple Batalia.

The 19-year-old SFU student was gunned down in a campus parking lot after a late-night study session on September 28, 2011.

Batalia’s former boyfriend Gurjinder “Gary” Dhaliwal was charged with first-degree murder.

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Dhaliwal’s “associate” Gursimar Singh Bedi was charged with manslaughter and being an accessory after the fact.

Both are in custody, awaiting trial.

A vigil to remember Maple’s life took place Saturday at 6 p.m. at Holland Park at King George Boulevard and Old Yale Road in Surrey.

Attendees were encouraged to bring their own LED lights or candles.

“We want to keep her memory alive,” says Maple’s sister Roseleen. “As well as ensure that no other family has to endure what we are enduring every day.”

Three other women who were the victims of violence will be remembered as well.

Laura Szendrei, Poonam Randhawa and Manjit Panghali will all be honoured along with Maple.

“We reached to other families for support to share their pain and help them,” says Roseleen.

Roseleen Batalia says anyone can be affected by violence regardless of gender, age or sex.

“These women could have been your daughters, your mothers and your sisters…For us to come together as a community, we need to remember that this is actively happening and we need to do something about it.”

A memorial fund was started in Maple’s memory to help young women with similar dreams as the young victim.

Emily Leaman was the first recipient of the bursary and met Maple’s family for the first time at the vigil.

Like Maple, Emily has a goal of becoming a doctor and values education and community service.

Maple’s family continues to take donations for the SFU Maple Batalia Memorial Fund and hopes to reach $100,000 by the end of the year.

With files from Grace Ke

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