Qatar: Qatari authorities on Monday released the eight Indian Navy veterans who had been sentenced to death in the country. Thanks to diplomatic intervention by New Delhi, capital punishment was commuted to an extended prison term. The Ministry of External Affairs had earlier assured the families of these veterans that it would utilize all diplomatic channels and arrange legal assistance to facilitate their return.
According to an official statement, seven out of the eight former Indian Navy officers have returned to India. The Ministry of External Affairs expressed gratitude towards the Amir of the State of Qatar for enabling the release and return of these nationals.
— ANI (@ANI) February 12, 2024
“We are very happy to be back in India, safely. We would like to thank PM Modi, as this was only possible because of his intervention,” one of the released veterans stated in an interview with news agency ANI.
These former Navy officials, imprisoned in Qatar since 2022, were accused of allegedly spying on a submarine program. However, Qatar has not disclosed the charges against them.
“It wouldn’t have been possible for us to be here without PM Modi’s intervention. It also happened due to the continuous efforts of the Government of India,” another veteran expressed, thanking the Prime Minister for his relentless efforts.
“After waiting for almost 18 months to return to India, we are extremely grateful to the PM. His intervention and his relationship with Qatar made this possible. We thank the Government of India from the bottom of our hearts for their efforts, without which this day would not have been possible,” another veteran conveyed to the news agency.