The funeral for Jacintha Saldanha brought a carnival-like scene to a church in the hamlet of Shirva, India on Monday. Saldanha took her own life earlier this month after she mistakenly patched through a prank call at King Edward VII Hospital in London where she worked as a nurse. The Australian DJs who made the call obtained and broadcast confidential information about the health of pregnant Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. The hoax received international media attention.
Saldanha left instructions in her suicide note that she wanted to be buried in Shirva, the hometown of her husband, Benedict Barboza.
Over 2,000 people showed up for the funeral service, most of whom didn’t know Saldanha or her family. The priest said it was the largest crowd the church had ever seen, according to the Telegraph. They also reported that Saldanha’s two children seemed surprised to see so many strangers at the funeral.
“Some came out of idle curiosity and because Shirva had never known such an event,” they wrote. “Others came out of an instinctive sympathy for someone of their community who had died in such tragic circumstances.”
While the whole event was quite a spectacle, the family asked photographers not to come into the church or to go to the grave site.