Hundreds mourn for royal hoax nurse in India

Featured - December 18th, 2012
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Hundreds of people mourned for Jacintha Saldanha during her burial in Shirva, southwest India, as her family took care to follow funeral arrangements she set out in a suicide note.

“The events of the last week have shattered our lives and we barely have any strength to grieve,” widower Benedict Barboza said in a statement read by a family friend after the funeral.

The Indian-born nurse apparently killed herself days after taking a prank call from two Australian radio hosts – posing as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles – to the King Edward VII Hospital in London. Saldanha transferred the call to a colleague who divulged confidential information on the condition of Prince William’s pregnant wife, Catherine Middleton.

Saldanha had struggled when she later learned she had been duped after one of the radio hosts at Sydney-based 2Day FM called the hospital to reveal the prank which they were about to broadcast, reports The Times of India.

She was found hanging at nurses’ accommodation days later. She had left behind three suicide notes, with one expressing anger at radio hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian, according to AFP.

Other reports claimed that Saldanha felt under pressure from colleagues at the private hospital. The hospital denied the allegations, saying it offered support to Saldanha and described the prank call as a “cruel trick”.

“The incidents leading to this tragedy are being investigated by the London Metropolitan Police and they have assured us of a full and fair investigation,” Barboza said.

Saldanha is survived by her husband and two children, Junal, 16, and Lisha, 14.