Jacintha Saldanha: Funeral held for royal hoax nurse
The funeral of a nurse who apparently killed herself following a royal hoax call in London has taken place in her Indian hometown.
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was buried at a church in Shirva, just outside Mangalore on the south-west Indian coast.
Her family accompanied the cortege and were joined by hundreds of mourners.
The nurse had taken a prank call about the Duchess of Cambridge who was being treated for acute morning sickness.
Two presenters on a Sydney-based radio station convinced staff they were the Queen and Prince Charles, and were connected to the duchess's private nurse and given an update on her condition.Large congregation
At the scene
The Our Lady of Health church is over 100 years old. It's where members of Shirva's local parish attend mass and offer prayers. But not many people remember the last time such a large congregation turned out.
Hundreds of people lined the church entrance, held in place by police barricades, straining to catch a glimpse as Jacintha Saldanha's coffin was brought in. Family members - including her husband Benedict Barboza and two children - accompanied it, dressed in black.
As the funeral procession entered the church, a band starting playing. The service, which was relayed to those gathered outside the church through loudspeakers, was conducted in the local Tulu and Kannada languages and presided over by the district bishop.
Shirva is a close-knit, small community. Most families here have a relative working and living overseas - mostly in the Middle East and the UK - so this is a tragedy which has hit everyone and affected them deeply.
Mrs Saldanha, who transferred the call, was found dead days later, in nursing accommodation attached to the King Edward VII hospital. She had left three suicide notes, her inquest last week revealed.
Mrs Saldanha's funeral was preceded by a private prayer ceremony at her home in Shirva, attended by close friends and family.
A closed casket containing the nurse's body was then carried into the Catholic church, accompanied by her husband and two children.
Religious leaders and politicians were among those attending the funeral.
The ceremony, conducted in the local Tulu and Kannada languages, was presided over by the district bishop.
Authorities made special arrangements to accommodate the hundreds of mourners, including deploying additional security and setting up barricades.
The BBC's Sanjoy Majumder said not many people remembered the last time such a large congregation had turned out.
"Shirva is a close-knit, small community. Most families here have a relative working and living overseas - mostly in the Middle East and the UK - so this is a tragedy which has hit everyone and affected them deeply," he said.
Mrs Saldanha's husband, Benedict Barboza, visited the cemetery before the service to look at the grave where she will be laid to rest.