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The Indian Navy veteran, who was given death sentence by Qatar authorities on espionage charges, has returned to India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has confirmed. Eight former Indian Navy officers who were sentenced to death in October were accused of spying for Israel.
A Navy veteran who returned from Qatar said, “We are very happy that we have returned to India safely. Of course, we would like to thank PM Modi, as this was possible only because of his personal intervention.. .”
“It would not have been possible for us to stand here without the intervention of PM Modi. And it was because of the sustained efforts of the Government of India.” Said another.
“We waited for almost 18 months to come back to India. We are extremely grateful to the PM. This would not have been possible without his personal intervention and his equation with Qatar. We are deeply grateful to the Government of India for every effort that we have made. We are grateful for all that has been done and this day would not have been possible without those efforts.” A third Indian Navy veteran said.
In October, India had said it was “shocked” after a Qatari court sentenced him to death, but the sentence was commuted in December.
“The Government of India welcomes the release of eight Indian nationals working for Dahra Global Company who were detained in Qatar,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
“Seven out of eight of them have returned to India,” it said, thanking Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for the decision to “enable the release and return home” of the detainees.
Eight Indian nationals working on a submarine project with a private company for Qatari authorities were arrested in 2022.
According to its website, the eight people were employees of Gulf-based company Al Dahra, which provides “full support solutions” to the aerospace, security and defense sectors.
More than 800,000 Indian citizens live and work in Qatar, which is also an important provider of natural gas to India.
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Published: Feb 12, 2024, 08:07 am IST