Udupi, Sept 28: A 28-year-old nurse who had allegedly committed suicide in Saudi Arabia 72 days ago, was finally laid to rest at Our Lady of Health Church cemetery in Shirva, Udupi district, on Friday, a day after her body reached India.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral Hazel Jyotsna Mathias, who hailed from Kutyar village near Shirva.
She had been working as staff nurse in Al-Mikhwa General Hospital, Al-Baha, in Saudi Arabia for six years. She allegedly committed suicide in Al-Baha in July. The arrival of her body was delayed owing to investigations in Saudi Arabia.
The body was brought by a flight to Bengaluru and by an ambulance to Shirva on Thursday. It was brought to the family home at Kutyar on Friday. Her husband Ashwin Mathias, father Robert Machado and mother Helen Machado were present.
Later the body was taken to the church in Shirva.
Speaking to presspersons, Joseph D’Souza, a relative of Hazel, said that Hazel committed suicide in Al-Baha on July 19 as she could not tolerate harassment by a Saudi national. The information of the death had reached the family after two days. The family then contacted Ivan D’Souza, MLC, to get the body back. “The government should help Indians abroad. We do not want any family to suffer what we have undergone in the last two months,” he said.
Mr. Ivan D’Souza said that Hazel had written a death note in which she had stated that she was harassed by an ambulance driver. He had learnt that the person, who had harassed her, had been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.
The Ministry of External Affairs should take cases of unnatural deaths of Indians seriously. It had taken 72 days to get Hazel’s body back here. He said he had also written to the 28 MPs on the delay in getting the body back. Proper protection should be provided to Indians working abroad, he said.