• Saturday, July 13, 2024


India appeals over navy veterans’ death row in Qatar

Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson of the Indian external affairs ministry, said the judgement is confidential and has only been shared with the legal team and that India is now pursuing further legal steps.

Flags of India and Qatar (iStock)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE Indian government has filed an appeal with authorities in Qatar over the death penalty given to eight former personnel of the navy who were arrested last year on charges of spying for Israel.

On Thursday (9), Indian external affairs ministry’s spokesperson Arindam Bagchi confirmed New Delhi has “already filed an appeal”.

The Narendra Modi government had reacted to the development last week saying it was “deeply shocked by the verdict” given by a court in Qatar.

Speaking at a press meet, Bagchi said details pertaining to the case remain unavailable.

“The judgement is confidential… has only been shared with the legal team. We are now pursuing further legal steps,” he said.

“We are in touch with the family (of the eight Naval officers)… if you remember, the External Affairs Minister (S Jaishankar) met their family in Delhi. We will continue to extend all possible legal and consular support,” the spokesperson said, cautioning against speculation over the matter.

Consular access to the eight Indian officers was last provided on Tuesday (7), he added.

The officers, including decorated individuals who once commanded major Indian war vessels,

The eight ex-Navy officers include decorated individuals who once commanded major Indian warships. They worked for Dahra Global Technologies and Consultancy Services in Doha at the time of their arrest. The company provided training and related services to the Middle Eastern nation’s armed forces.

According to sources, some of the Indian navy veterans were working on a sensitive project — stealth submarines — and media reports said they were accused of spying for Israel which is currently locked in a deadly conflict with Palestinian militant outfit Hamas.

Families of the officers recently told India’s NDTV that they were not involved in espionage and were trying to build Qatar’s navy and strengthen its security.

Subrahmanyam said after meeting the families of the detained officers that he fully shared their pain and concerns and Indian Navy chief Admiral Hari Kumar said every effort was being undertaken to secure their release.

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