Indian nurse Jacintha Saldanha's funeral today



Zeenews Bureau

Shirva: The body of Indian-origin nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who was found dead on December 07 in London, will be buried at Shirva town in coastal Karnataka on Monday.

Family, relatives, friends and large number of people have gathered to bid farewell to Saldanha.

The body of Saldanha, 46, will be laid to rest at the cemetery after prayers at the Our Lady of the Health Church in Shirva, about 400 km from Bangalore.

The body of the Indian origin nurse reached Mangalore, 50 km from Shirva, on Sunday.

Her husband Benedict Barboza, son Junal, 16, and daughter Lisha, 14, accompanied the coffin from London via Mumbai by a scheduled Jet Airways flight.

The coffin was kept overnight in the mortuary at the Kasturba Medical College hospital in Manipal near Shirva.

The body was first taken to Barboza's house at Shirva and shifted to the church for people to pay their last respects.

Shirva is the hometown of Barboza where his mother and sisters reside.

Saldanha graduated from Father Muller College of Nursing in Mangalore in the mid-1980s. She first worked at Muscat in Oman for a few years and went to London after marriage to live with Barboza, an accountant in the British National Health Service at Bristol, 190 km from London.

The nurse was found unconscious on December 07 morning in the quarters of King Edward VII Hospital in central London where she was working as a senior nurse, and was pronounced dead when wheeled into the hospital in an ambulance.

Saldanha got unwittingly involved in a hoax call on December 04 from a radio station in Australia when she was on duty at the hospital where Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middletown was admitted December 03 after she complained of acute morning sickness.

When the jockeys (Mel Greig and Michael Christian) from a Sydney radio station called the hospital early Dec 4 imitating the voice of the queen (Elizabeth) and the prince (Charles), Jacintha picked the call in the absence of the receptionist at that time (5.30 am) and transferred it to another duty nurse who briefed them on the health condition of the royal princess (Kate).

Though Kate was discharged on December 06, news about the prank call shocked the royal family and caused outrage the world over, especially in the British media.

The autopsy report and an inquest into the cause of her death indicted that Jacintha was found in her room in the hospital quarters with injuries on one wrist.

The British Police also recovered three notes from her room, in which she mentioned about the circumstances in which she received the prank call and how remorseful she was about the incident.

(With IANS inputs)