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Families Deny Spying Claims; India Challenges Death Penalty For Navy Personnel In Qatar


New Delhi:India has taken a significant step in challenging the death penalty handed to eight former Navy personnel in Qatar. These individuals, arrested in August last year under mysterious circumstances, faced a shocking verdict the previous month.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, confirmed India’s appeal, stating, “Delhi has already filed an appeal.” The Government, expressing profound shock at the judgment, emphasized its commitment to pursuing legal avenues.

What did the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson say?

During a press briefing, Bagchi revealed that case details remained confidential, accessible only to the legal team. He urged caution against speculation, recognizing the sensitivity of the matter. The eight Navy officers, including decorated commanders, were associated with Qatar’s Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services. This private firm offers training services to the Qatari armed forces, with reports suggesting involvement in a project related to stealth submarines.

Consular access to the detained officers was granted until Tuesday, according to Bagchi. The officers, Captains Navtej Singh Gill, Birendra Kumar Verma, Saurabh Vasisht, and others, faced a trial starting March 29 after the rejection of bail pleas. Media reports hinted at espionage accusations for Israel, a claim vehemently denied by the families in an interview with NDTV.

What is the take of the families of the officers?

The families insisted that their kin were not involved in spying but were in Qatar to contribute to the nation’s security, specifically the development of the Qatari Navy. The families stressed the lack of evidence supporting the allegations.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with the families, expressing solidarity. In a post, he stated, “Met this morning with families of 8 Indians detained in Qatar. Stressed that Government attaches highest importance to case. Fully share concerns and pain of families…”

Navy Chief Admiral Hari Kumar also pledged to exert all efforts for the release of the detained officers. The situation remains fluid, with India navigating the legal complexities and providing unwavering support to the affected families.


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