Updated February 12th, 2024 at 07:21 IST
Ex-Navy Veterans Thank 'PM Modi's Personal Intervention' Post Return From Qatar
On Monday, February 12, 8 veterans of the Indian Navy who were sentenced to death in Qatar on espionage charges, were released by Doha.
New Delhi: As the Indian Navy veterans landed in New Delhi following their release from Qatar, they thanked the constant intervention of the Indian Government and the Ministry of External Affairs. The Navy veterans who were reportedly detained on the charges of espionage, said that there release could not have been possible without Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘personal intervention’. One of the veterans credited PM Modi's personal equation with the West Asian country for Qatar's decision.
On Monday, February 12, eight veterans of the Indian Navy who were sentenced to death in Qatar, were released by Doha. The capital punishment was commuted to an extended prison term in December last year following diplomatic intervention by New Delhi.
One of the veterans, thanking Indian Government's efforts, said, “We waited almost for 18 months to be back in India. We are extremely grateful to the PM. It wouldn't have been possible without his personal intervention and his equation with Qatar. We are grateful to the Government of India from the bottom of our hearts for every effort that has been made and this day won't have been possible without those efforts.”
Another veteran said, "We are very happy that we are back in India, safely. Definitely, we would like to thank PM Modi, as this was only possible because of his personal intervention."
All you need to know about Indian Navy veterans' case in Qatar
Qatar had detained 8 retired Indian navy officers on the accusations of allegedly spying on a submarine programme. They were imprisoned in Qatar from October 2022. The retired naval personnel were sentenced to death by a Qatar court on charges that have not yet been made public officially. However, reports suggest that Qatar had accused the veterans of spying for Israel on Qatar's advanced submarines, which have stealth capabilities that make them harder to detect.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had assured that it would mobilise all diplomatic channels and arrange legal assistance to bring them back. Immediately after the report of the death penalty floated, India said that it was “deeply shocked” after the verdict and in October this year, the country filed an appeal against the court’s verdict. India’s External Affairs Ministry has been in constant touch with the kins of the Navy veterans while New Delhi’s ambassador in Doha met the veterans in the prison and guided the counsel and family in the court procedures.
Further, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also met Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai and discussed bilateral partnership and the "well-being of the Indian community" living in Qatar.
Published February 12th, 2024 at 07:21 IST
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