India

Jacintha Saldanha: Body arrives in India

  • 16 December 2012
  • From the section India

The body of the nurse who apparently killed herself after a hoax phone call about the Duchess of Cambridge has arrived in India for burial.

Jacintha Saldanha's remains, escorted from the UK by her husband and two children, have arrived in the city of Mangalore in Karnataka state.

She was found dead on 7 December near the London hospital where the duchess had been treated for morning sickness.

Days earlier she had taken a hoax call from two Australian DJs.

The BBC's correspondent in Mangalore, Sanjoy Majumdar, tweeted that Indian government ministers and local politicians were at the airport to meet the plane carrying Ms Saldanha's body.

The coffin was transferred to an ambulance and taken to a local hospital.

Her husband, Benedict Barboza, and their daughter Lisha, 14, and son Junal, 16, were mobbed by the media as they came out of the airport terminal and struggled to get into waiting cars.

The funeral will take place on Monday at Our Lady of Health Church in her home town of Shirva, just outside Mangalore.

The Reverend William Menezes, spokesman for the Diocese of Mangalore, told AFP news agency the funeral would take place at 16:00 local time (10:30 GMT).

Police said as many as 5,000 people were expected to attend, according to AFP, and security around the village has been tightened.

Hospital award

News of Mrs Saldanha's death has been closely followed in India, especially where she grew up.

The hospital in Mangalore where she studied nursing has said it will create an award in her memory.

A candlelight vigil was held last week and her friends and family have been outspoken in their grief, some even demanding that a separate investigation be held to determine the cause of her death.

Image caption A grave is prepared in the town of Shirva for Jacintha Saldanha

On Thursday an inquest at Westminster's Coroner Court heard Mrs Saldanha was found hanged. She left three suicide notes.

The hospital has said senior managers tried to reassure Mrs Saldanha "on a number of occasions" that no blame was attached to her for putting the hoax call from two Australian DJs through to the duchess' ward.

Dozens of Indian students demonstrated at the British High Commission in New Delhi on Saturday, demanding "Justice for Jacintha" and claiming that "as a person of Indian origin she was isolated, victimised and subjected to harassment by the authorities".

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