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In big win for Indian diplomacy, Qatar releases eight Navy veterans jailed over spying charges Indian Veterans
Photo Courtesy: Screengrab from Youtube

In big win for Indian diplomacy, Qatar releases eight Navy veterans jailed over spying charges

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 12 Feb 2024, 09:22 am

Eight Indian Navy veterans, who were in prison in Qatar over spying allegations and even at one point sentenced to death, have been released by the Arab country, the Indian government confirmed on Monday. The release is seen as a big diplomtic victory of India and Prime Minister Modi who supposedly personally intervened to secure their freedom. 

Seven of them have already returned to India.

Confirming the development, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement: "The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals working for the Dahra Global company who were detained in Qatar."

"Seven out of the eight of them have returned to India. We appreciate the decision by the Amir of the State of Qatar to enable the release and home-coming of these nationals," the statement said.

The arrested personnel were Purnendu Tiwari, Sugunakar Pakala, Amit Nagpal, and Sanjeev Gupta, who are Commanders, and Navtej Singh Gill, Birendra Kumar Verma, and Saurabh Vasisht, who are Captains and Sailor Ragesh Gopakumar.

Navy veterans thank Narendra Modi

After returning home, the Navy veterans praised Indian PM Narendra Modi for securing their release.

"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," one of the veterans told NDTV.

Another released veteran told the Indian news channel: "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."

All eight have been in jail since August last year and were handed death sentences on October 26, after a brief trial in March. Bail was denied numerous times during their incarceration and trial.

Where were the veterans working in Qatar?

The eight were working for Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services when they were arrested.

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