Commutation of death sentences for eight Indian sailors in Qatar following espionage charges

The Ministry of External Affairs reported on Thursday that the death sentences of eight Indians in Qatar have been commuted. The ministry anticipates a detailed judgment on the reduced sentences and expresses its commitment to ongoing engagement with Qatari authorities.

In response to the initial verdict, deemed “deeply shocking” by India, the Ministry of External Affairs asserted its continuous support for the affected individuals. The Ambassador to Qatar and other officials were present during the Court of Appeal proceedings, standing alongside the family members. Consular and legal assistance will persist, with the matter consistently raised with Qatari authorities, according to the MEA.


The eight former Indian Navy personnel, sentenced to death by a Qatari court, were associated with the private company Al Dahra. The arrests, which took place in August last year, were linked to an alleged case of espionage. While the charges were not publicly disclosed by Qatari authorities, sources suggest the individuals were involved in overseeing the induction of Italian small stealth submarines U2I2 in their private capacity with Dahra Global.

The arrested individuals were identified as 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. India has pledged to explore all legal avenues in response to the verdict.