Eight former Indian Navy officers awarded the death penalty in Qatar
- EP News Service
- Oct 26, 2023
NEW DELHI: In a big setback to India’s efforts at securing the release of eight former personnel of the Indian Navy, arrested in an alleged case of espionage, a Qatar court on Thursday handed them the death sentence.
Calling the ruling 'deeply shocking' India said it was exploring all legal options. In its reaction to the order Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs said it is attaching very high importance to this case and was exploring all legal options.
"We have initial information that the Court of First Instance of Qatar has today passed a judgment in the case involving eight Indian employees of Al Dahra company," the Ministry said and emphasized that it is giving significant attention to this case and actively exploring all available legal avenues to address the situation.
The charges against the Indian nationals were not made public by Qatari authorities. But sources said the Indians had been working in their private capacity with Dahra Global to oversee the induction of Italian small stealth submarines U2I2. The arrested Indian nationals, all employees of Doha-based Dahra Global, were taken into custody in August 2022.
Those who were sentenced by the court have been identified as Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta and Sailor Ragesh, all of whom are ex-Indian Navy personnel, employed by Dahra Global.
The opposition parties including the Congress have urged the government to make all efforts to secure the release of the eight men at the earliest.