Qatar frees 8 ex Indian-Navy officials jailed on espionage charges; 7 return to India

Indian Navy veterans arrive in India from Qatar.

New Delhi: Qatar has released eight former Indian Navy personnel who were detained in the Gulf country in an alleged case of espionage.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in a statement released, welcomed the development and said seven of the eight former Indian Navy personnel working for the Dahra Global Company, a private firm, returned to India from Qatar.

“The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals working for the Dahra Global Company who were detained in Qatar. Seven out of the eight of them have returned to India. We appreciate the decision by the Amir of the State of Qatar to enable the release and home-coming of these nationals,” the MEA said in a statement.

In December last year, a Qatari court reversed the death penalty of the eight Indian Navy veterans who were arrested in the Dahra Global case. The death sentence was reduced to jail terms.

This came after Qatar’s Court of First Instance accepted an appeal filed by the Indian government against the death sentence awarded to the Navy veterans.

The development came weeks after Narendra Modi met Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai.

The eight Indian Navy officials who were detained in Qatar are, Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, and Sailor Ragesh.

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