Indian ambassador met 8 ex-Navy officers sentenced to death in Qatar, says MEA

Navy Veterans Death Row: Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi has met 8 Indian former Navy officers sentenced to death in Qatar.

There is new hope in the efforts to get life for 8 former sailors of Indian origin who were sentenced to death in Qatar. On Thursday, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the government was closely monitoring the case and providing all legal and consular assistance to them. He also met all the victims on December 3. Bagchi also said that two hearings have been held in the case and an appeal against the death sentence has already been filed.


Sentenced for espionage on 26 October 2023 

It is noteworthy that yesterday in Qatar, 8 Indian former marines Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vashishtha, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta and another named Ragesh were sentenced to death. According to reports, after retiring from the Navy, all of them were working in Doha-based technology and consultancy service provider company Al Dahra. In 2022, Khamis Al Azmi, a retired Oman Air Force squadron leader who was running the company along with all of them, was arrested on some serious charges. He was released from jail on bail in November 2022, but later on 29 March 2023, the case trial started against him. Now, on 26 October 2023, all of them were given death sentences by the court for espionage. The Government of India objected to this decision and worked towards exploring all legal options.

At present, a new ray of hope is visible in this matter every day. Talking about this, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, while giving information about the meeting with the victimised ex-marines on Thursday, said that the government, which has vowed to save these important citizens of the country at any cost, is keeping a close watch on this. . Two hearings have taken place in the case so far after an appeal was filed against the sentence.

PM Modi also talked bilaterally in COP28

Bagchi said in Thursday’s press conference, “The prisoners had a final appeal. We filed an appeal on behalf of the families and since then 2 hearings have taken place. We are closely monitoring the matter and providing all legal and consular assistance. Meanwhile, our Ambassador got consular access to meet all 8 of them in jail on 3 December. Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad in Dubai on the sidelines of COP28 and spoke positively about bilateral relations. The Ministry of External Affairs is attaching high importance to the matter and is exploring all legal options.”