The body of an Indian-born nurse who was found hanged after taking a hoax call to the hospital treating Prince William’s wife arrived in Mangalore yesterday following a memorial Mass in London.
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, apparently committed suicide after answering the prank telephone call from two Australian radio DJs.
Saldanha’s funeral is expected to take place today near Mangalore in Shirva, the home town of her husband Benedict Barboza, who accompanied her body on yesterday’s flight to India along with their son, 16, and daughter, 14.
“Jacintha and her family, they were working in the UK to earn their daily bread,” Stany Tauro, priest of the Our Lady of Health Church in Shirva, told reporters. “The community is sad over the death.”
He said locals were proud that she had been a successful nurse in a hospital where the British royal family were treated, but that many were shocked by the tragedy.
Tauro said residents would be able to pay their respects to the body before the Mass scheduled at 4pm and the burial ceremony.
C. Mutthiah, deputy commissioner of police in Mangalore, confirmed the body had landed, while a family source told reporters it would be kept in a mortuary overnight and taken to Shirva today.
Saldanha’s frail mother lives along with her other daughter and a son in Mangalore, 360km from Bangalore, the state capital of Karnataka.
“I feel very sorry that those two kids, they lost their mother’s love and affection,” local politician DV Sadananda Gowda said. “The government ... is seeking an enquiry so that the truth should come out and what the reasons are behind this incident [are].”
Saldanha’s body arrived a day after the nurse’s children told a service at London’s Westminster Cathedral that her death had created “an unfillable void” in their lives.
“We will miss your laughter, the loving memories and the good times we had together. The house is an empty dwelling without your presence,” her daughter Lisha said.
A London inquest last week heard that Saldanha, who moved to Britain about 12 years ago, had been found hanged in staff accommodation on Dec. 7, and that there were no suspicious circumstances over her death.
Saldanha left three notes, one of which reportedly criticized her colleagues over her treatment at the King Edward VII private hospital after the hoax call.
The hospital has defended itself, saying it offered support to Saldanha and had stressed to her she would not be disciplined for being taken in by the call.
Indian students marched to the British High Commission in New Delhi on Saturday, carrying banners demanding “justice for Jacintha.”
The demonstrators alleged in a statement that “as a person of Indian origin she was isolated, victimized and subjected to harassment by the authorities.”
Australian police say death threats have been made against the DJs from Sydney’s 2Day FM radio station who made the call posing as Queen Elizabeth and William’s father, Prince Charles. The presenters made tearful apologies last week.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies