Body of Indian nurse flown to Mangalore for funeral

By Indo Asian News Service | Sunday, December 16, 2012 | 8:44:06 PM IST (+05:30 GMT) Comment 0 Comment

Mangalore, Dec 16 (IANS) A coffin carrying the body of Indian origin nurse Jacintha Saldhana, 46, who was found hangingd Dec 7 in London, reached here from Mumbai Sunday for the funeral at Shirva Monday, about 45 km from here.

Mangalore, Dec 16 (IANS) A coffin carrying the body of Indian origin nurse Jacintha Saldhana, 46, who was found hangingd Dec 7 in London, reached here from Mumbai Sunday for the funeral at Shirva Monday, about 45 km from here.

"The coffin has been taken to Manipal by road in an ambulance from Bajpe airport, where it will be kept in a mortuary at the Kasturba Medical College hospital for the night and will be taken to Shirva Monday afternoon for the last rites," a family source told IANS here.

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

Jacintha's grieving family members, including her younger brother and sister, were at the airport to receive the body and console the Barbozas.

In view of the large presence of mediapersons, including OB vans, security was tight at the airport and only Jacintha's brother and sister were allowed inside the arrival terminal, where the mood was sombre.

"It was a poignant moment for the grief-stricken families to meet 10 days after the tragic turn of events ahead of Christmas. As the Barbozas were tired from a long flight and to ensure their privacy, they had to be escorted out of the airport and provided security enroute to Manipal," a police official said.

A cortege will leave Manipal Monday afternoon to Shirva, the home town of Barbozas, about 20 km from Manipal and 400 km from Bangalore.

"The body will be first taken to the Barboza's house at Shirva and shifted to the Our Lady of the Health Church in the small town for the public to pay homage. Two hours later, it will be buried in the Catholic cemetery," a relative said.

Shirva is the hometown of Benedict where his mother and sisters reside. It is well-known for growing jasmine flowers.

"We have stepped up security at Shirva, as about 5,000 people, including VIPs and officials, are expected to be present at the funeral," Udupi Superintendent of Police M. Boralingaiah told IANS.

Jacintha, who graduated from Father Muller College of Nursing in Mangalore in the mid-eighties, first worked at Muscat in Oman for a few years and went to London after marriage 15 years ago to live with Benedict, an accountant in the British National Health Service at Bristol, 190 km from London.

Jacintha was found unconscious Dec 7 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.

The senior nurse got unwittingly involved in a hoax call Dec 4 from a radio station in Australia when she was on duty at the hospital where Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middletown was admitted Dec 3 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 a.m.) and transferred it to another duty nurse who briefed them on the health condition of the royal princess (Kate).

Though Kate was discharged Dec 6, 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.

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