Who Are The 8 Indians Sentenced To Death In Qatar And What Is The Case?

Who Are The 8 Indians Sentenced To Death In Qatar
Who Are The 8 Indians Sentenced To Death In Qatar

The death penalty has been handed down to eight former Indian Navy personnel by a Qatar court, a verdict India has described as “deeply shocking” and has vowed to explore all legal options. In August last year, eight Indians were arrested for alleged espionage and have been confined to solitary confinement ever since.

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The Indian government said it is attaching “high importance” to the case and exploring all legal options.

Who are these 8 Indians?

Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht and Sailor Ragesh Gopakumar have all been arrested in August 2022. They are Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, and Captain Amit Nagpal.

In the Indian Navy, the former officers held important positions including those as instructors and had distinguished service records spanning up to 20 years.

Purnendu Tiwari, commander of the Indian Army, received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in 2019. Commander Tiwari was given the award for improving India’s image abroad by the Indian Embassy in Doha at that time.

What were they doing in Qatar?

In addition to training Qatari armed forces, all eight Indians worked for a private company, Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services.

Khamis al-Ajmi, a former squadron leader in the Royal Oman Air Force, owns the company. Similarly to the Indians, Ajmi was arrested last year and released in November.

Several death row inmates were working on a highly sensitive project, stealthy midget submarines based on Italian technology.

All employees of Al Dahra Global have returned home since May, when the company closed its operations in Doha.

Why were they arrested?

Qatar’s intelligence agency arrested the eight men on August 30, 2022. The charges against the Indian nationals have not yet been made public by the Qatari authorities or New Delhi.

They were reportedly arrested for espionage, according to reports. In accordance with Qatari law, the eight Indian Navy veterans were charged on March 25.

On Thursday, the Court of First Instance in Qatar pronounced its verdict against them after rejecting their bail petitions several times.

What India is doing?

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, they are awaiting the detailed judgement in the case and are exploring all legal options.

The MEA said in a statement, “We are deeply shocked by the death penalty verdict, and we are awaiting the detailed judgment. We are in touch with the family and the legal team and are exploring all legal options.”

All consular and legal assistance will continue to be provided to Indians by the government.

According to the MEA statement, “we attach great importance to this case and have been following it closely. We will continue to extend all consular and legal assistance. We will also raise the verdict with Qatari authorities.”

According to reports, the families of the ex-Indian Navy personnel have petitioned the Qatari Emir for mercy. It has not been confirmed, however.

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