7 Jailed Indian Navy Veterans Return To India From Qatar

7 Jailed Indian Navy Veterans Return From Qatar
7 Jailed Indian Navy Veterans Return From Qatar

Eight Indian Navy veterans who were jailed in Qatar on alleged spying charges have been released, according to the government’s announcement early this morning. Seven of them have already returned to India after spending 18 months in jail in the Middle-Eastern country.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs expressed gratitude towards the Amir of Qatar for facilitating the release and repatriation of these nationals. The veterans, who were detained without prior notice of their release, were swiftly taken away by embassy officials after their freedom. They boarded an IndiGo flight and arrived back in India after 2 am.

The veterans, including Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, Commander Amit Nagpal, and Sailor Ragesh, were arrested in August 2022. They were employed by Dahra Global, a private firm, and were assisting with the introduction of Italian U212 stealth submarines into the Qatari Emiri Naval Force.

Initially sentenced to death by a Qatari court on October 26, 2023, their capital punishment was commuted in December after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s discussions with Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani during the COP28 summit in Dubai.

The Navy veterans, expressing their gratitude upon their return to India, credited PM Modi and the Indian government for their release. They thanked PM Modi for his personal intervention, emphasizing that their safe return wouldn’t have been possible without his efforts and his rapport with Qatar. They extended heartfelt appreciation to the Government of India for their unwavering support throughout the ordeal.