Qatar releases 8 Indian Navy veterans on death row, Congress says ‘join nation in its relief, happiness’

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Indian Navy veterans who had been put on death row on charges of espionage on behalf of Israel in Qatar were released and they returned to Indian in the early hours on Monday. The Congress expressed relief and happiness at Qatar releasing eight former Indian naval personnel nearly three and a half months after they were handed down death sentences.

In a post on ‘X’, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “The Indian National Congress joins the entire nation in its relief and happiness that the eight former Indian Navy personnel earlier sentenced to death by a court in Qatar have been released and are back home.”

“It sends its greetings and good wishes to them and their families,” he said.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said seven of them have returned to India. It said India appreciates the decision by the Amir of Qatar to enable the release and home-coming of the Indians.

The Navy veterans were on October 26 last year given death sentences by Qatar’s Court of First Instance in a case of suspected espionage.

In a post on ‘X’, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “The Indian National Congress joins the entire nation in its relief and happiness that the eight former Indian Navy personnel earlier sentenced to death by a court in Qatar have been released and are back home.”

“It sends its greetings and good wishes to them and their families,” he said.

On the sidelines of the COP 28 climate sustainability summit in Dubai in December last year, PM Narendra Modi met the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad and had a ‘good conversation’ about the well-being of the Indian community in Qatar.

The Court of Appeal in the Gulf nation on December 28 last year commuted the capital punishment of the eight Navy veterans and sentenced them to jail terms for varying durations.

The Indian nationals, who worked with the private company Al Dahra, were arrested in August 2022. Neither the Qatari authorities nor New Delhi made the charges against them public.

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Published: 12 Feb 2024, 10:20 AM IST

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