Qatar frees ex-Indian Navy men jailed on espionage charges | India News

In a diplomatic victory for India, eight Indian Navy personnelwho were arrested in 2022 in connection with an alleged case of espionage have been released by Qatar, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release on Monday morning.

“The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals who worked for the company Dahra Global and were detained in Qatar. Seven of the eight have returned to India. We appreciate the decision of the Amir of the State of Qatar to facilitate the release and homecoming of these nationals,” the statement said.

The eight men – 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 working for a private company, Dahra Global, in their personal capacity . They oversaw the introduction of Italian U212 stealth submarines to the Qatari Emiri Naval Force.

On October 26, 2023, the court had imposed the death penalty on all eight men. Qatar Court of Appeal the death sentence commutedfollowing a diplomatic intervention by Delhi, on December 28, 2023. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had met at the time relatives of the menassured them that the government would make every effort to secure their release.

They were arrested on August 30, 2022 on unreported charges and placed in solitary confinement. Almost a year later, on August 4, 2023, they were allowed to move with their colleagues from solitary confinement to a prison unit, two men per cell.

The charges on which the men were arrested have not yet been made public. On November 9, 2023, the MEA had said its legal team had obtained the details of the complaint.

© Indian Express Pvt Ltd

First uploaded on: 2024-02-12 03:24 IST

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