Organizers hold vigil for Mahato

March 24, 2008 3:34:28 PM PDT
A religious group taking a stand against violence in Durham hosted a vigil Monday in honor of Abjijit Mahato.

The vigil was coordinated by the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham, Parents of Murdered Children and Durham Congregations in Action.

The group gathered at the apartment complex where Mahato was murdered, to pay tribute to and celebrate his life.

29-year-old Duke graduate student Abhijit Mahato was shot to death in his apartment on Jan. 18 --a pillow was used to muffle the sound of the blast.

The Tatangar, India, native was studying for a doctorate in computational mechanics at Duke.

A grand jury has indicted two teenagers is Mahato's death, 17-year-old Laurence Lovette and 19-year-old Stephen Oates.

Lovette also faces murder charges for killing UNC Chapel Hill's Student Body President Eve Carson earlier this month.

"It leaves a giant hole when we lose somebody especially when we lose someone in the manner where their lives are taken violently," said Anna Lee Mosley with the Religious Coalition for Non-violent Durham.

The prayer vigil was planned shortly after his death.

"Since that time Eve Carson was killed, suspects arrested and yes, it brings a bigger focus on the vigil," Mosley said.

And Duke Grad student Jeremy Block hopes that encouraged Carolina students to the vigil as well.

The prayer vigil was held at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Anderson street apartments in Durham.