Bangalore, Dec 16: The body of Jacintha Saldanha, the Indian-origin nurse who was found dead near a London hospital on Dec 7, has finally been brought to her homeland. Today, the aircraft in which Jacintha's husband and children were returning after attending the inquest into her death touched down at the Mangalore airport around 2.30 p.m. According to sources, the coffin carrying her mortal remains will only be taken to the town of Shirva tomorrow for the funeral.
Mangalore Archbishop Aloysius Paul D'Souza and Mangalore diocese Vicar General Dennis Prabhu will lead the prayers at the cathedral in Mangalore later this evening, the sources said. Tomorrow, thousands are expected to participate in mass at the church in Shirva before the last rites are performed at the nearby Catholic cemetery. The funeral is to be held in the town as Benedict Barboza, the husband of Jacintha, hails from there. Police have made security arrangements in Shirva.
Last week, Jacintha attended a hoax call at the King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone. At 5.30 am on Dec 5, the senior nurse was helping out in the hospital's reception when two disc jockeys Mel Greig and Michael Christian from the Australian radio station 2DayFM requested her to put them through to the ward where the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton was undergoing treatment for morning sickness.
Since the DJs pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles respectively, an unsuspecting Jacintha connected them to another nurse who gave details of Kate's condition. The DJ's prank hogged headlines around the world. The British royal family expressed their unhappiness over the intrusion of Kate's privacy.
On Dec 7, Jacintha was found "hanging" by one of her colleagues in the staff quarters near the hospital. Investigators told the inquest at the Westminster Coroner's Court on Dec 13 that injuries were seen on her wrist. The death occurred due to asphyxia, the coroner said.