Hundreds of people attend the funeral mass at Shirva

Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who committed suicide in London on December 7 after falling victim to a hoax call by two Australian radio presenters, was laid to rest at Our Lady of Health Church cemetery in Udupi on Monday.

Earlier, Jacintha’s body, which was kept at the morgue of the Kasturba Hospital in Manipal, was brought to her husband Benedict Barboza’s house here at Sarkala at around 12.15 p.m. and kept till about 3.30 p.m. Hundreds of people, including family members, relatives and well-wishers, offered their last respects. Outside the door of the house, a notice had been put stating: “Videography and photography not allowed. Please do not use your phone camera”.

The police personnel, who were stationed about a furlong away on the road leading to the house, did not allow any press photographers and cameramen of television channels to go to the house with their cameras.

The 55-year-old Sunshine Bandset from Peramapalli, Udupi, played various Konkani hymns such as “Tuje Sarse Deva” (God we are with you), “Tuje khushi jao” (Let everything happen according your wishes).

When the coffin was being shifted into the ambulance, to be taken to the taken to the Our Lady of Health Church, Mr. Barboza’s daughter, Lisha, wept. Even Mr. Barboza was seen wiping his tears. Then, Mr. Barboza, Ms. Lisha and Mr. Barboza’s son, Junal, got into the ambulance along with the coffin.

When the coffin reached the church premises, a large number of press photographers and television cameramen jostled with one another for pictures.

The funeral mass began at the church at around 4 p.m. The Bishop of Udupi Diocese Rev. Gerald Isaac Lobo offered the funeral mass along with other priests. After the mass, the coffin was carried to the cemetery, where the burial service was held. There was tight police security at the church.

Minister mourns death

Kota Srinivas Poojary, Minister for Ports and Muzrai, paid his condolences to the family at the church. “May God bless her soul and give the family the strength to bear this tragic loss”, he said. B. Janardhana Poojary, former Union Minister, also visited the family and mourned the death of Jacintha.

Mediapersons from within the country and abroad, especially from the United Kingdom and Australia, were present in a large number to cover the event.

Jacintha Saldanha (46), who hailed from Mangalore, was working as a nurse in King Edward VII Hospital in London. She allegedly committed suicide after becoming a victim of a hoax call by two DJs from an Australian radio station inquiring about the condition of the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge Kate William, who was receiving treatment at the hospital for acute morning sickness.