Vigil held for mother who was stabbed to death in Bradford while pushing baby in pram

A vigil has been held to pay tribute to a mother who was stabbed to death in Bradford earlier this month.

Kulsuma Akter, 27, from Oldham, was pushing her baby son in a pram along a street on the outskirts of the city centre when she was fatally attacked on 6 April.

The event, organised by women from across the city, saw around 100 people gather outside the steps of Bradford's City Hall, less than a mile from where Ms Akter was killed.

Those gathered gave speeches, read poems and lit candles in her honour, before a minute's silence was held at 3.21pm, marking the exact time emergency services were called to the scene of the attack.

The crowd chanted, "Kulsuma Akter, say her name," while many held up placards and paper signs with those words on.

A number of those gathered were visibly emotional, including Tracy Brabin, who is standing for re-election as the mayor of West Yorkshire, and West Yorkshire's deputy mayor for police and crime Alison Lowe.

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In her time as mayor, Brabin has made violence against women and girls one of her policy priorities, launching a Women's Safety Unit earlier this year. Despite that, she said she felt every life lost was a "failure" on her part.

Speaking after the event, she said: "I want West Yorkshire to be the safest place to be a woman or a girl."

"It's shocking, heartbreaking and triggering for the women here who were openly weeping, it's a tragedy.

"Kulsuma's name must be on everyone's [tongue] around the country, this has got to be a watershed moment for us."

Naz Shah, the MP for Bradford West, spoke at the vigil, describing the impact Ms Akter's death had on her friends who she had spent time with the day before.

"It was heartbreaking listening to those women's stories," she said, "Of their friend who left them and she smiled all the time. She's left behind a baby who will never ever see her smile and her joy."

Habibur Masum, 25, from Burnley, has been charged with Ms Akter's murder and appeared at Bradford Crown Court on 12 April via video link.

A provisional trial date has been set for 18 November, with Masum also charged with possession of a bladed article.